Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Adani airport takeover next month runs into rough weather; locals resist runway extension

Guwahati: Farmers and locals of two villages, Koitasiddhi and Raibori, are posing big hurdles for the Adani Group's airport takeover plan next month. The villagers are fiercely resisting the expansion of the airport on the western side as it means giving up their land.

The Kamrup district administration had served eviction notices to these villagers, mostly indigenous communities of Nath Yogis and Kalitas, earlier this month. The notices were served through 54 pattadars (land deed holders).

Farmer Rajen Das is in his late 70s, was in tears speaking to TOI on Tuesday. Pointing to the other side of the boundary walls of the airport, he said in the sixties, his family was forced to part with six bighas of land for the expansion of the airport. Today those lands would have earned him crores. “We are now left with only one residential plot. Can a government send an eviction notice without rehabilitating us?” asked Das.

This community has been voting for the BJP because of their commitment to the cause of Jati-Mati-Bheti (community, home and hearth), but today the ruling party leaders have no answers for these voters in the face of the development plans for the most happening airport in the northeast, which is going to be a litmus test for the Adani Group.

The Sri Sri Koitasiddhi Sattra (Vaishnavite monastery), a landmark in the village, is also set to go under the bulldozers. Set up in 1804, it received a grant from the state archaeology department. But pulling down this monastery won’t be easy as the BJP has been trying to identify itself with these ancient seats of Vaishnavite culture.

15/09/21 Kangkan Kalita/Times of India

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