The Bhogapuram airport near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh will now come up in 2,200 acres instead of the 2,700 acres proposed earlier, the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decided on Thursday.
The YSRCP government said that it was planning to take back 500 acres from the GMR group, which had bagged the contract earlier.
Speaking to reporters, Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Minister Perni Venkataramaiah alias Nani said that the company had agreed to the state government's request.
"The 500 acres will be taken over and be considered government land. It is the public's wealth. Once the airport is finished, the price of the land will shoot up as it is located next to a commercial airport. A decision on the land can be taken at that time," he said.
In February 2019, GMR Airports Limited emerged as the highest bidder for the project on a public–private partnership (PPP) basis. The project involves design, construction, development, upgradation, modernisation, operation and maintenance of Bhogapuram International Airport for 40 years, extendable by an additional 20 years.
The airport is located about 40 km from Visakhapatnam, and 25 km from Vizianagaram.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved a proposal to set up a 10,000 megawatt (MW) mega solar power project to ensure uninterrupted 9-hour power supply to farmers during daytime, besides establishing an Integrated Renewable Energy Project (IREP).
Perni Venkataramaiah said as part of the IREP, 550 MW of wind power, 1200 MW of hydropower and 1000MW of solar power would be generated. Under the Green Energy Development Charge, the state government expects to be earning a revenue of Rs 32 crore.
Earlier during the TDP regime, the government had paid only Rs 2.5 lakh per acre for the project, but the current government has decided to award Rs 5 lakh per acre, the Minister said in a statement.
Besides, the state cabinet has cleared the detailed project report (DPR) of the Ramayapatnam port project, which would be completed in five phases with an estimated budget of Rs 3,736 crore in the first phase of works.
The cabinet also gave the green signal for the establishment of Andhra Pradesh State Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to monitor tax evasions by granting 55 posts.
The Outsourcing Corporation would be strengthened to avoid middlemen in recruitments, the statement said.