Thursday, December 23, 2004

Airport augurs good for business

Airport augurs good for business
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: With the proposed international airport at Devanahalli kickstarted, the focus of development in Bangalore is bound to shift from the software South to the underdeveloped North. The Rs. 1,334-crore project, finally free of fetters, is now ready for take off in February 2005.

If one were to paint a rosy picture of what future augurs vis-a-vis the Devanahalli airport, attendant development like the six-lane highway expansion project comes to mind. The airport will no doubt provide IT city with international connectivity but what use is it if the road to the airport is unmotorable?

The project does throw up various concerns such as security and adequate water supply and sanitation. Finding a water source will be a challenge. Guarding an international airport in days of heightened terror is daunting.

However the pluses outnumber the concerns. The project is bound to push up real estate prices in the area. Not only will developers swarm the area announcing luscious deals for frequent flyers, but the ones who have been smart enough to already acquire land, will make a killing. One hopes to see a multitude of housing and office projects within a 20-km radius of the project.

The airport is expected to give both trade and tourism a shot in the arm. While warehousing for perishable exports and the exports will get a boost in the area, the tourism industry with all its attendant trappings -- ticketing, sightseeing, taxi services, hotel bookings and related services will get an impetus. Soon, star hotels may begin sprouting in the region if the traffic is good.

The airport project may also witness railway projects. Bangalore Metro Rail intends to connect both Electronics City and the airport in its second phase apart from the railways’ plan for a hub at Cantonment to link Devanahalli.

If all goes well, the Devanahalli airport will be Bangalore’s jewel in its crown. But the project may be delayed belying hopes of making the city truly world class.


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