The Maharashtra government today said it will bear the land acquisition cost for the proposed expansion of Kolhapur airport, putting an end to delays in the project.
"We are going to sanction Rs80 crore for land acquisition for the Kolhapur airport expansion project within a month," chief minister Ashok Chavan announced here after inaugurating a Rs500 crore Kirloskar Oil Engines project at Kagal-Hatkanangale.
The district administration has identified 223 hectares to be bought from farmers at a cost of Rs80 crore.
The civil aviation ministry had asked the Maharashtra government to acquire land for the project and pay for it.
Earlier, Local MP Sadashiv Mandlik wrote a letter to civil aviation minister Praful Patel about land acquisition for expansion of the airport in November last year.
In his reply, Patel sent a letter to chief minister Ashok Chavan, with a copy to the MP, stating the state should buy land and pay adequate compensation.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) owns the airport and had given it to Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) on a lease that expires in 2012.
The project was getting delayed on the question of who will pay the land cost. The AAI said MIDC should acquire the land, but the latter stated it was not in a position to pay the cost.