HomeNationLack of air connectivity hinders employment growth of Solapur

Lack of air connectivity hinders employment growth of Solapur

Out of service for 12 years, those in power have ignored the planned Greenfield Solapur Airport

By: Sachin Gadekar

Twitter: @the_news_21

Solapur: There is a major drawback of air connectivity in Solapur district. Despite being endowed with all the natural resources, Solapur district is suffering immensely. The lack of air services has hampered employment growth in the district. Despite such a critical situation, no elected representative is seen taking any initiative to start the airline service.

The current airport is located on Hotgi Road in Solapur city. It is also well equipped. On other normal days, ministers always land easily there, and they also take-off. For Solapurkar’s, however, the service is completely off limits. Kingfisher Airlines started the air service through the efforts of the then union minister Sushilkumar Shinde. It turned out to be a short-lived affair. Air service to Solapur has been closed for the last 12 years. Many entrepreneurs have turned their backs on Solapur due to lack of airline services alone.

The defunct airline has only contributed to Solapur’s stalled employment growth. That is why employment opportunities are not available here. The existing industrial estate has not been able to set up enough businesses to provide employment on a large scale. Therefore, thousands of engineers who pass out with engineering degrees every year have to leave Solapur.

Air service of Solapur could not be started only because of the neglect of elected representatives. Moreover, work on the planned greenfield Solapur airport at Boramani on the Solapur-Hyderabad highway has also come to a standstill. It is because of the lack of competent leadership both at the state and center that the work of the planned airport has been stalled. As a result, a major obstacle has been created in the development of Solapur district.

Bharat Forge took flight

In 2010, due to the efforts of former union minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Bharat Forge Company decided to set up a large industrial unit in the vicinity of Boramani-Sangdari village on the Solapur-Hyderabad highway. The company invested heavily in the purchase of land in that area. The company had decided to come to the Solapur area considering the airport on the Hotgi Road and the proposed greenfield Solapur airport which will be newly constructed in the Boramani area. But, as there were no further flights taking off from both places, the company took flight from Solapur. As a result, youth still have to struggle for employment.

Neglect and apathy after Shinde left

Ten years ago, Solapur began to march on the path of development. The network of highways was getting stronger. Big opportunities are going to be created for the development of Solapur in the future. Keeping this in mind, Sushilkumar Shinde decided to set up a greenfield Solapur airport at Boramani. Land acquisition was also done for that. Later, unfortunately, Shinde had to step down from power. However, after him, the construction of the planned airport was completely ignored by the newly elected representatives. No effort was made to start the flight service on Hotgi Road airport. As a result, the development of Solapur took a hit.

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