Saturday, December 16, 2017

Airstrip expansion faces land hurdle

Berhampur: The expansion plan of the old Rangeilunda airstrip adjacent to the Berhampur University is facing hurdles as villagers are not willing to vacate the land required for the purpose.

"We need at least 31 acres of private land to expand the airstrip. The villagers, including Karapalli and Rangeilunda sarpanches, S. Menaka Reddy and B. Chandreya Reddy, respectively, are opposing the plan," said the works department's executive engineer Sasank Sekhar Mishra, who is in charge of the Rangeilunda airstrip.

The sarpanches said villagers living on the private land demarcated for the project depend on farming on the area. They said the expansion area should cover towards Ramchandrapur nearby.

"We have already ventilated our views to the department," said S. Menaka.

A four-member AAI team, led by joint general manager (PLG) P.K. Mahapatra, visited Rangeilunda and Ramchandrapur to study the feasibility of developing a low-cost small airport on August 6, 2013. The experts had said the proposed site at Ramchandrapur was a low-lying area and the natural flow of water to the area could not be checked.
16/12/17 Sunil Patnaik/Telegraph