Nagarjunasagar airstrip not on UDAN radar

Nagarjunasagar airstrip not on UDAN radar
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Despite PM Narendra Modi’s thrust to aviation industry with his UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme aimed at letting common citizen of the country fly, the ground reality at Nagarjunasagar airstrip presents a different picture.

Guntur: Despite PM Narendra Modi’s thrust to aviation industry with his UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme aimed at letting common citizen of the country fly, the ground reality at Nagarjunasagar airstrip presents a different picture.

A feasibility report prepared by Airports Authority of India officials on the Sagar airport was submitted one-and-a-half year ago to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Ministry included the airport in the priority list to be developed along with the other airports in the country. Nearly 1,000 acres of land is available for the development of the airstrip. After that there is no development.

The airport, it is said, was constructed in 1955 on 97 acres for the convenience of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to visit Nagarjunasagar at the time of its construction. Nehru made several trips to the dam site.

Gannavaram Airport Director G Madhusudhana Rao said, "There is no progress in Nagarjunasagar airstrip development for the last twenty months despite the government having a proposal to develop it."

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, during his election campaign, promised to develop the airstrip. His assurance is not translated into action so far. If the Sagar airstrip is developed, it will boost tourism.

Buddhists, who visit Nagarjunakonda from China, Bhutan, and other countries, would stand benefitted. It would be convenient for the tourists to visit other Buddhist sites like Ghantasala, Jaggiahapet. Waterfalls at Anupu is a new tourist attraction.

Dhyana Buddha Project in-charge R Mallikarjuna Rao said, "Nagarjunasagar will attract more international and national tourists. Buddhist monks will directly land at Nagarjunasagar airstrip and visit Nagarjunakonda, Anupu waterfalls. From there they will come to Dhyana Buddha Project site and see museums in Amaravati.”

Similarly, it would be convenient for tourists who visit Nagarjunasagar, to go to Gannavaram from there. From Nagarjunasagar the tourists may go to Srisailam also.

Gurazala Revenue Divisional Officer E Murali said, "Earlier, the Central government asked some land for the development of the airstrip at Nagarjunasagar. There is no instruction for land acquisition for the development of the airstrip at Nagarjunasagar."

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