- NET Web Desk
The Assam government’s efforts to acquire land for a greenfield airport in Cachar district have sparked controversy, with the Centre alleging that no such request for the facility has been submitted from the BJP-led administration in the north-eastern state.
The district administration issued a clarification on Friday, following a reply by the Civil Aviation Minister – Jyotiraditya Scindia to a letter written by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP – Sushmita Dev.
Scindia mentioned that till date the ministry has received “no proposal to construct a greenfield airport in Cachar district of Assam. However, if any such proposal from any airport developer or the state government is received, the same would be considered as per the Greenfield Airports Policy, 2008.”
Greenfield airport refers to a state-of-the-art airport, constructed from scratch on a new location because the existing facility is unable to fulfil predicted traffic demands.
According to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) – Pankaj Kumar Deka, the entire process of land acquisition for the construction of the airport at Doloo tea estate was covered, following due procedures.
“There are many questions being raised on the proposed airport at Doloo. It is again informed to all concerned that this particular land was taken up as per the instructions received from the state government following due procedure. The land in question was supposed to be handed over free of encumbrance. It is in the final stage of execution and stakeholders are requested to kindly cooperate”, the statement said.
He clarified that the Government of Assam (GoA) is acquiring land from its fund for the development of an airport.
The completion of the formalities would lead to further steps which will be taken by both the state and central governments.
Its worthy to note that recently, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has expressed concern about the wellbeing of roughly 2000 tea garden employees at the Daloo tea plantation in the Cachar district, and therefore requested the state administration to offer them with “alternative livelihood”.
However, tea garden employees are concerned that the transfer might result into employment loss and lead towards instability for their families and children. These workers have also voiced their displeasure over the matter, following the state administration commenced felling-down tea bushes at the Daloo tea estate in preparation for a greenfield airport.