Adilabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s recent announcement to set up an airstrip rekindled hopes of flying for residents of Adilabad district. He gave his nod to a request for the facility made by Forest and Environment Minister Jogu Ramanna.
An aerodrome was established on a sprawling 369 acred peripherals of Adilabad town by the then Nizam of Hyderabad to help fighter aircrafts refuel before proceeding to battlefront in 1930.
It came under the control of Indian Air Force, after Independence in 1947 and was used as a re-fuelling point for helicopters used mainly to train pilots till late 1970s.
In 2014, the IAF proposed to convert the aerodrome into a full-fledged Air Force Station. It had sought district administration to identify adequate land for this purpose.
Accordingly, 1,600 acres of land was identified by the authorities concerned under the limits of Kachkanti, Khanpur, Thantoli and Anukunta villages abutting the existing aerodrome in 2017. However, no headway was made after that.
Meanwhile, Ramanna who represents Adilabad Assembly Constituency began making efforts to get a mini aerodrome for the backward district. He has been instrumental in bringing the issue to Chief Minister’s notice. When making the announcement for the aerodrome, Rao said Adilabad Collector had been directed to begin the process of establishing the facility.
The move is likely to clear the uncertainty over the ongoing efforts of Indian Air Force to build the Air Force Station in the existing 88-year-old aerodrome. But, it unclear whether the new airstrip would be constructed at the present facility or somewhere else.
Adilabad Chamber of Commerce and Trade Association president Jagdish Agarwal said the aerodrome would benefit Adilabad district in several ways. He said it would draw the attention of international tourists to local tourist spots and local businessmen would use it rather than going to Hyderabad. He, however, sought the help of elected representatives to make the facility a reality as soon as possible.