September 21, 2008

Panel for Reopening of Begumpet Airport

HYDERABAD: Expressing unhappiness over the deteriorating condition of the facilities at Begumpet airport after the operations were shifted to Rajiv Gandhi International airport at Shamshabad, the Parliamentary standing committee on transport and tourism decided to once again write to the civil aviation ministry to reopen the airport.

The committee members led by its chairman Sitaram Yechury came here by a special flight which landed at Begumpet airport. The committee went round the airport and examined the conditions including the functioning of various equipments and expressed their unhappiness over poor maintenance . The committee, according to sources, was informed about the manner in which the airport was being subjected to negligence. They also got complaints that there was an opening at the other end of the airport which was being used as an entry point by the airport staff. Such movement of vehicles could cause damage to the tarmac, the committee is said to have been told.

With no regular flights taking off or landing at Begumpet, the costly equipments including luggage scanners , conveyor belts, etc. installed there were lying idle and might become in operational and turn into scrap due to lack of maintenance, the committee is learnt to have felt.

Sources point out that the members expressed their dissatisfaction over the lack of interest on the part of the state government to put pressure on the centre to make the airport operational. The committee had in the past strongly recommended against the closure of the airport but the state government does not seem to have taken it seriously, they are said to have remarked.

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