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Test flight with Ganesh lands in Chipi

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By A Special Correspondent

Rane calls the operation illegal, alleges payment made to get test done

The first test flight to the Chipi Airport in Sindhudurg, carrying a Ganpati idol landed safely yesterday. However, the politics over this much-hyped test has taken a momentum with the former Chief Minister Narayan Rane saying that the landing of the first test flight was illegal.

The moment the flight landed at Chipi, Rane lambasted Sindhudurg Guardian Minister and Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar. Rane said, “The test which was conducted at Chipi Airport was illegal. Kesarkar paid Rs 10 lakh and manged the things for landing of the flight. The Minister insisted on this test and got it done.”

On the other hand, Kesarkar refuted the allegations. He said, “This dream project of Konkan is coming true. At such juncture Rane is unnecessarily making an issue and creating political issues. The dates for the test flight were declared by the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu. Accordingly, the test flight landed. Now my aim is to work for actual operation at Chipi, so the passenger service can be started at the earliest.”

Significantly, once functional, Sindhudurg will be the state's 14th airport. At present, it has three functional international and 13 domestic airports. The airport is being constructed at Parule Chipi in Sindhudurg district by the IRB Sindhudurg Airport, on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer basis for the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). With a 2,500-metre long runway, the airport will have a capacity to handle 200 departing and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours.

With the coming of this airport, the connectivity to areas of northern Karnataka, western Maharashtra and parts of Goa will also improve.

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