Visakhapatnam: Union minister of state for HRD, D Purandeswari has said that she held discussions with the defence minister MM Pallam Raju and Airport Authority of India officials recently for according international status to Visakhapatnam airport.
Speaking at the 16th anniversary of Visakhapatnam Air Travellers Association (VATA) here on Saturday, she said the Navy also gave the green signal for international services.
Issues such as provision for toilets outside the airport and better facilities for the disabled and sick travellers figured during the discussions with the Airport Authority of India officials, she said.
An informal committee comprising the district collector, VUDA vice chairman, GVMC commissioner, AAI officials and National Highway officials has been formed to solve issues regarding the airport, she said.
Discussions were also held with railway minister Dinesh Trivedi about railway lands being encroached by slumdwellers, she said.
Purandeswari said discussions about the merger of East Coast Railway with the South Central Railway would be held with the railway minister in January.
The Union government has sanctioned about Rs 863 crore for construction of flyover bridges, she said and added that efforts were on to develop Visakhapatnam as a major tourist hub.
A proposal has been forwarded to the railway ministry to provide a special train to Araku to boost tourism, Purandeswari said.
GVMC commissioner B Ramanjaneyulu, MLAs D Srinivasa Rao, Y Vijaya Kumar, Ch Venkata Ramaiah, chairman Visakhapatnam Air Travellers Association Ch Ramakotaiah and secretary K Rama Rao were present.