Friday, June 30, 2006

New airport spells boom

New airport spells boom
The international airport at Devanahalli will be operational by 2008. This development will take Bangalore to a global platform

The Times of India

The international airport coming up at Devanahalli on Bangalore-Hyderabad National Highway No 7 will be operational by 2008. At a recent visit by Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to the construction site, the BIAL authorities exulted confidence on meeting the deadline as work is being carried out in full swing.

The pushing factor for this facility is the booming economy of this city. Bangalore has today many a globetrotter, foreign delegate, and tourist. While the IT and ITenabled sectors are fuelling the thriving realty mart, options in property galore in the city for non-IT segments too such as pharma, banking, telecommunications etc. Now, with the international connectivity things are looking up like never before for this ever-changing city.

Airport project

Planned on a build-own-operate-transfer basis with public-private participation, Bangalore's international airport will have the latest in the field of civil aviation. The Karnataka Government, through the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) together will hold 26 percent of the equity. To sum it up, the airport is a joint venture between Siemens Project Ventures (40 percent), Larsen and Toubro (17 percent), Zurich Airport (17 percent), Karnataka Government (13 percent), and the Centre (13 percent).

The State Government has agreed to grant concessions to the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), the company that is to execute the project. It is a consortium of the Government of Karnataka, Airports Authority of India, Siemens, and Zurich Airport, to design, develop, finance, construct, commission, maintain, operate and manage the airport. The Karnataka Government is providing 4,300 acres of land for the airport. The project is scheduled to be implemented in three years and is the first of its nature in the country. The initial phase of the project is planned for a capacity of five million passengers per annum. However, the master plan of the project plans for an ultimate capacity of 40 million passengers per annum.

The proposed airport at Bangalore will have a 4-km runway designed to accept Boeing 747 aircraft. The tarmac will be adequate to accommodate 20 aircraft together. The terminal building with an air-conditioned built-up area of 55,850 square metres will provide all modern facilities. All the facilities will be designed to make further expansion possible to meet the growing demand without compromising on quality of service.

The concession agreement for land and support from the State and Central Governments was finalised after numerous meetings between the ministries of Civil Aviation, Law & Justice, Finance, and the BIAL. The agreement also contains the rights and obligations of the Central and State Governments, and the BIAL on operation and maintenance standards including monitoring, airport charges, provision of reserved activities like customs, immigration, security, liabilities and indemnities, and resolution mechanism for disputes.

While the road infrastructure is already in place (NH7), the government has planned flyovers, elevated roads, and bridges at intersections and bottlenecks.

The realty factor

Master Plan 2015 for Bangalore - the proposed Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for the next 10 years is awaiting final clearance from the state cabinet. One of the crucial factors revealed in the CDP is the opening up of the green belt. This, especially in the north (towards international airport), means huge tracts of lands measuring thousands of acres will be up for development.

In the last four months, the area has witnessed heavy land transaction as ban on registration of property was lifted and DC conversion of agriculture lands is being allowed now. With promises of a streamlined growth according to the new CDP, developers are busy scouting for land in Bangalore North. With the real estate market growing by leaps and bounds here, the upward trend of land rates will not change.

Residential apartments to cater to all layers of society, group housing schemes, office spaces, resorts, star hotels, amusement parks, multiplexes, shopping malls are all being planned here by builders, developers and entertainment companies. The airport had in fact created hype for Bangalore North while it was still on paper and land here was selling between Rs 35 lakhs and a crore per acre a year ago. With the project work briskly happening, it is a gold rush for property investors now as the market has witnessed a 35 to 60 percent appreciation, according to industry sources.


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