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Airport project may be a victim of standoff

The confrontation between UP’s BSP government and the Congress on the issue of land acquisition in Greater Noida is likely to come in the way of an airport project, also in Greater Noida. M Hasan reports.

lucknow Updated: May 22, 2011 21:33 IST
M Hasan

The confrontation between UP’s BSP government and the Congress on the issue of land acquisition in Greater Noida is likely to come in the way of an airport project, also in Greater Noida.

Even as the UP government has been pressing for the clearance of the Rs 5,000 crore project near the Yamuna Expressway, for which the struggle for compensation is still on, the central government has decided to conduct a fresh feasibility report.

MPs of the BSP have now decided to raise the issue in the monsoon session of parliament.

Talking to HT on Sunday, BSP MP from Gautam Buddha Nagar (within which Greater Noida is located) Surendra Singh Nagar said the centre was holding back the project because of “political reasons”.

When the project was mooted four years ago, there was objection from the promoters of Delhi International Airport Ltd because one airport could not come up "with a 150-km radius of another".

Nagar said there was no need for a fresh feasibility report because the state government had conducted a technical-economic feasibility study. He said the issue was referred to a group of ministers (GoM) last year after a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh but so far there had been no progress.

“There is no dispute over land,” Nagar said, adding 10,000 hectares (one hectare = 110,000 square feet) had been identified for the project.

Last month, a team of the civil aviation ministry visited Jewar village, where the airport project is supposed to come up. Greater Noida Authority officials had made a presentation of the project.

But “there is no development (after that),” said authority project officer Neenu Saigal. “They have not given any report,” she commented. Nagar said the UP government was opposed to the centre’s plan to involve DIAL in preparing the fresh feasibility report.

“We are opposed to it since they are our competitors. If the Centre wanted another report, it should be from an independent agency,” he said.

The project has been pending for the past 11 years. Its techno-feasibility report was prepared in 2003. L&T Ramball Company had prepared the first report in 2000.