Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Uncertainty looms over use of forest land for new airport

Confusion prevails over acquisition of forest land in Purandar taluka for the proposed Pune international airport project. The local forest officials are either unaware of any such move or are tightlipped about the government plan.
Wildlife enthusiasts say the airport will impact the forest. Officials, however, say the state government is only concentrating on acquiring private land. Their claim holds less ground because senior officials of MADC (Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited) have said that a survey will begin soon, which will include all forms of land in and around Purandar. Also, the villagers from Purandar had claimed that a team of forest officials had come down on October 20. The landowners had asked them to leave and not to come back again.
"Developments regarding the airport have become known to us only through newspapers. The fact is that until now we have not received an official communication from the authorities in connection with the project. So we cannot say anything.The forest in Purandar taluka covers 6,000 hectares of land," said B P Jadhav, sub-divisional forest officer of Bhor.
Another forest official claimed that the state government will acquire private land only for the new airport."Since we have not received an official communication so far, we think the forest land will be spared," the official pointed out.
02/11/16 Joy Sengupta/The Times Of India