Iraq has allocated nearly 3.34 trillion dinars (Dh7.4 billion) for the construction of an airport in the central Karbala governorate but that the project has been held up, an Iraqi deputy has said.
Iraq’s planning ministry earmarked the sum for province’s first civilian airport in the 2013 budget and another small sum in 2014 for the project launch and compensation for farmers whose land was taken to build the airport, Saleh Al Hasnawi said.
“We have recently met the planning minister, who affirmed to us that the ministry allocated 3.34 trillion dinars for Al Forat airport project in Karbala in the 2013 budget,” he said, quoting by the Iraqi Khabar news network.
He said the ministry also allocated two billion dinars for land reclamation for the project and financial compensation for farmers. Another sum of 100 million was also budgeted for starting construction of the project.
“The minister said a committee had been formed to follow up the project and to coordinate with the transport ministry to tackle any problems related to this project and to identify the causes that led to the delay in the execution of the project especially after Karbala’s government completed all relevant measures,” he added.
Hasnawi’s remarks came a week after Karbala’s governing council slammed the planning ministry for refusing funds for the airport project and threatened to resort to a fund-raising campaign in the province to finance the airport.