NPRAAF questions logic of acquiring land for Ciethu airport

DIMAPUR, MAR 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/1/2020 12:45:53 PM IST

Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has questioned the logic of acquiring 3,68,5201 acres of land at Ciethu Chiechama in Kohima district for the proposed Ciethu-Chiechama airport.

Referring to the notification issued by Kohima deputy commissioner (DC) Gregory Thejawelie in this regard on February 24, the forum in a statement asked the State government whether any feasibility report had been issued by Airport Authority of India (AAI) for land in the area before outright purchase/acquisition for the proposed airport. 

NPRAAF reminded the government and the people of Nagaland that land measuring 600 acres was purchased/acquired outright for setting up airport in 2006. The acquired land was sufficient to set up an airport, it added. 

However, the forum said it was unfortunate that the area acquired by the State government for the airport had two hillocks that required to be knocked down and levelled, besides huge retaining walls raised on both sides, incurring heavy expenditure for an airport meant for small aircrafts. Therefore, Planning Commission turned down the proposal during 2007-2012 on the ground that the proposed site was technically and financially not feasible and worthy for an airport. Thereafter the State government had in 2015 again proposed Ruzaphema village as an alternative airport to Dimapur, following which a technical team from AAI came and made aerial and ground surveys of the proposed site and was fully satisfied. 

After this, AAI issued feasibility report with a remark that the proposed airport had the potential to be one of the best airports in the country. Surprisingly, the forum said the government had not expedited the process of setting up airport at the site in the larger interests of the State and nation.

NPRAAF asked the State government why technically unworthy site was prioritised over technically feasible site for airport and under what scheme and account compensation would be paid to land owners.

Calling for going by rules, the forum urged the State government not to set up an airport at a location found technically unworthy by AAI as it would have future consequences. 

“The State government is invariably expected to work for larger interest and not for vested interest,” it emphasised.

NPRAAF appealed to the government to ponder over the matter and take a wise decision to avoid setting a bad precedence and dragging the issue further.



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