Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fresh land hunt for airstrip

Hazaribagh: The district administration has renewed efforts to put the home turf of minister of state for civil aviation on the country's air map.

It is working overtime to acquire more than 200 acres of land near the strategic but jinxed Nagwa aerodrome - idle for decades and locked in a legal battle since 2011 - to facilitate Jayant Sinha's regional connectivity dreams.

District land acquisition officer Shabbir Ahmad said they were looking at 279 acres in Nagwa and Churchu villages, which are 6km from town and close to Ranchi-Patna stre-tch of NH-33, to set up an airstrip.

"A three-member team, including two joint secretary-level officers from the civil aviation ministry, came here earlier this month. They wanted 300 acres, but we can start groundwork for an airstrip once we have 279 acres," Ahmad said, adding that 267 acres would be riyati (inherited and owned by farmers) land for which a total compensation of Rs 250 crore would be required.

Asked if the vast swathe in question comprised fertile, multi-crop plots, Ahmad said yes, but quickly added that acquisition would be a cakewalk because villagers were willing to part with the land if "proper compensation" was offered.
23/12/17 Vishvendu Jaipuriar/Telegraph