The process of acquisition of land for expansion of the Umroi Airport on the outskirts of Shillong was under progress with the villagers finally agreeing to part with land, Transport minister AT Mondal said.
Informing that 34 acres of land was required for the purpose, the minister said that though they were initially reluctant, the villagers have now agreed to part with land against suitable compensation by the government.
"Recently I held meeting with the villagers and they have agreed. The deputy commissioner was directed to initiate land acquisition proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, 1984 and it is expected to be completed shortly,” he said in reply to a question by James Sangma of the Opposition yesterday.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma intervened to point out that though it had been difficult to prevail upon the villagers to part with land, a breakthrough has now been made in this regard due to initiatives taken by the Transport minister.
He also informed the House that the Central Government had provided over Rs 20 crore during 2007-08 and Rs 30 crore in 2009-10 for acquisition of land for the airport. Umroi, located about 30 km from Shillong, at present has an airport in 216 acres of land having 6000 ft runway for landing and take-off of ATR aircraft only but with expansion plans on the anvil, the Airport Authority of India has sought for another 200 acres of land to facilitate daily Boeing service.