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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BrahMos phase II: Deadline for land set

EXPRESS BUZZ


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The second phase development of BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (BATL) now hinges on a State Government promise to find the necessary land by March 31.``Last week, the government held a meeting and assured that necessary land will be found for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) by March 31. We hope everything will go smoothly,’’ BATL CEO and managing director and DRDO chief controller (R&D) Dr A. Sivathanu Pillai said on the sidelines of a function here on Saturday.For launching the second phase of the cruise missile programme, BATL had identified 7.15 acres of land adjacent to its Chakkai plant.This land belongs to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF has, in principle, agreed to hand over the land, but on the condition that they be allotted land elsewhere. The IAF needs land to build accommodation for its personnel. The State Government’s plan is to acquire land near Chakkai for the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for the development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and provide substitute land for the IAF there, so the latter can hand over its plot to BATL.``Unlike in other states, land is a big problem here. We understand that. But we are sure things will go smoothly,’’ said Sivathanu Pillai, who envisages a bigger role for Thiruvananthapuram and BATL once the Aerospace industry boom gets going in earnest.The BrahMos (an amalgam of Brahmaputra and Moskva) missile programme is a joint venture between India and Russia. When Brah- Mos Aerospace took over stateowned KELTE C in 2007, the promise was that the first missile will be rolled out from Thiruvananthapuram in three years’ time.

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