Friday, December 4, 2009

Decks cleared for Itanagar Greenfield Airport

ITANAGAR, Dec 4: The first and the most important hurdle for the proposed Greenfield Airport along the Karsingsa-Banderdewa stretch was today cleared with locals of the area heartily accepting it by assuring support and cooperation in establishment of the first airport in the State.

In the public hearing held today for environmental clearance of the proposed airport, residents of Banderdewa, Karsingsa and adjoining areas were unanimous in welcoming its construction and lauded the initiative taken up by the Government for benefit of the State at large. However, they appealed for some relief measures considering the community rights of the local indigenous people living within and around the airport site.

G K Chaudhary, Executive Director (Eng), Airports Authority of India, informed that the setting up of the airport is being taken under the City Development Plan (CDP) prepared by the State government.
He told the residents that the proposed airport would open the gates of overall development of the State. He informed that the 3C Airport with 1700 x 30 m runway covering 250 hectares of forest land would be set up at 400m x 45 m away from the NH52 A along the natural contour of the area. The airport would handle 3 flights in a day with a capacity of 75 passengers each.

Chaudhary said that the management plan incorporates every aspect of the operation including pollution control, waste generation and job opportunities for locals in grade C and D categories, besides using the available raw materials from the area for the purpose. The only materials brought in would be those not available locally, he informed.

Pointing out that industrialization and development would come along with the airport, the AAI Executive said that economic activities of the State in every sector like tourism, handloom and handicraft, horticulture, agriculture and other allied sectors would get a boost with opening of the airport.

To monitor proper and judicious execution of the project, Chaudhary suggested formation of a core committee including representatives from the local residents.

State’s Civil Aviation Director T T Gamdik, who is the Project Developer, stressed the need of an airport in the State as frequent road blockades due to natural causes and bandhs in neighboring State, major economic activities in the State suffer frequent setbacks.

Representing the Capital district administration Bokar Basar elaborated the CDP under JNNURM, which is the master plan for urban development. Appreciating the people’s encouraging approach towards development projects, he sought cooperation from the people with the Project Developers and Airport Authority of India for smooth completion of the project. He further assured full support and cooperation from the administration as a facilitator between the people and the agencies.

Participating in the public hearing as Special Invitee, Taba Hare, a senior citizen stressed on viable presentation of projects to do away with mis-managements. Welcoming the Airport, Hare called for certain welfare measures for the people of the area in some sectors like water supply, health, employment as per qualification and skill, flood protection etc.

Representative from a local NGO, Kipa Taniya submitted a 6-point memorandum to the AAI officials highlighting the grievances of the local inhabitants. This includes relief and rehabilitation to the affected people, job reservation in the C and D grades; petty contract works to local people, distance of the airport site from the NH 52A at 500 mts, proper demarcation of the airport periphery, protection wall for safety, plantations around the airport to control soil erosion and pollution control etc. Earlier, R K Deori, Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board, informed that the public hearing for grant of environment clearance for construction of the airport was held as per the requirement and guidelines of the Ministry of Environment, Govt of India. He said that the hearing is to know the opinion of the people living near and adjoining areas of the proposed airport for seeking environment clearance for construction of the Airport. THE SENTINEL

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