Friday, November 24, 2017

Land acquisition poses major challenge to airport expansion

Aurangabad: The state government has cleared a proposal for acquiring land admeasuring 182 acre for the proposed expansion of Aurangabad airport but the district administration has a major task ahead while actually taking possession the identified land.
The administration will have to remove over 1,200 homes and other properties, besides taking control of over 80 acre of agricultural land for making way for the expansion. Since the land in question is within the city limits and is urbanised in several parts, the authorities are likely to face stiff opposition from people whose land has to be acquired.
A senior official from the district administration said more than 85% of land to be acquired has private ownership. "The airport expansion needs acquisition of over 155 acre private land, along with portion of land owned by the local civic body and CIDCO. The land acquisition involves both agricultural and non-agricultural land. Even if the best financial deals are offered to the owners while doling out compensation, we cannot rule out possibility of stiff opposition," the official said.
In June, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had held a special review meeting on expansion of Aurangabad airport that involves widening of existing runaway to make it at par with international standards. Earlier, during a state cabinet meeting in October last year, Fadnavis had announced funds worth Rs 250 crore for development of the airports at Aurangabad and Nanded. However, voices of dissent started coming with a section of stakeholders opposing the development as things started progressing.
24/11/17 Prasad Joshi/Times of India