Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Land blow to new airport

Calcutta: The Bengal government has told Delhi it cannot provide the required 4,000 acres for the proposed second airport in Calcutta, for which the Airports Authority of India had requested it to arrange the land.

The state has urged the Centre to develop the Andal airport as an "alternative" instead, although the Centre had rejected such a request earlier saying the two airports were too far apart at 190km.

"It's not possible to arrange for 4,000 acres in Calcutta's neighbourhood. If the requirement were 1,500 acres, we could have tried to find the land in Bhangar," a state official said.

Nabanna sources said the state government's policy against forced acquisition was a factor too.

They said senior bureaucrats had met AAI officials and told them they cannot find the land, and revived the Andal proposal.
"Developing the Andal airport is the only way to manage the growing pressure on Calcutta airport. If the Centre has problems declaring Andal a second airport for Calcutta, it should consider it a standalone, alternative airport," an official said.

AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said in Delhi recently that each of the four metros needs two airports.

"Sites have been identified for Delhi and Mumbai. Tamil Nadu will finalise the site (for Chennai) shortly. Bengal is yet to do that for Calcutta," he had said.
26/12/17 Pranesh Sarkar/Telegraph

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