Bengaluru: As Civil Aviation Minister in the Vajpayee government, Ananth Kumar played a pivotal role in the signing of the MoU for the Bengaluru International Airport, recalls mobility expert, M N Srihari.
“The Kempegowda International Airport was the first in the country to be built under the PPP model when the city’s population was swelling and the airport at HAL was not able to handle the increasing traffic.
Its runway of 2.4 kms was not big enough for international operations, which need 4 km long runways. As the HAL company too was using the facility for defence operations and testing, Ananth Kumar quickly realised that it was time to take the airport out of the city and raise it to international standards. Besides, there were chances of defence data being leaked if civil flight operations continued at HAL airport,” Mr Srihari said.
Appreciating the late Minister for his dream of connecting various parts of city and even nearby districts through the suburban train as he believed this would take much of the existing burden of traffic on the city’s roads, he noted, “He took the idea and worked towards its implementation.”
Also recalling that as Union Minister Ananth Kumar wanted the Metro facility to be built in all cities with a population of 10 to 25 lakh, he said he was never egotistic or proud , but interacted freely with subject experts and was always curious to know about the new and novel that could help improve the country.
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