With the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) announcing the highest compensation rate in the district so far, at Rs. 2.37 crore per acre, to farmers for acquiring 46 acres, decks have been cleared for nearly 3 km of the proposed 8-km airport road, which would stretch the dividing road of Phases 7 and 8 of the Industrial Area in SAS Nagar further to connect with the Kharar National Highway (NH)-21.
The chief administrator of GMADA, AK Sinha informed that the latest compensation rate of Rs. 2.37 crore per acre was the highest compensation announced till date in the district.
"Our tenders are ready and will be floated within a couple of days. We are hopeful of starting the working within 15 days and the road will be completed within five months. We have already paid the compensation money to the land acquisition collector (LAC) of the district," he said.
The uncompleted stretch was hanging fire for the past four years as farmers from Ballomajra, Bareali and Desumajra villages had moved the high court against land acquisition, stating that they did not want to part with their land falling under the proposed urban estate. Last May, the Punjab and Haryana high court had given a green signal to the road, but had quashed GMADA's proposal of acquiring land for the urban estate, along the side of the road.
GMADA had come up with a bypass road from Sector 74 in SAS Nagar to Kharar, but it could not be connected to the NH-21 as the 3-km stretch could not be constructed due to farmers' protest. Commuters heading towards Punjab can now take the airport road from Zirakpur and directly reach the National Highway-21 near Kharar, passing through Sector 74 and Phase 8 of the Industrial Area in SAS Nagar.
The bypass would act as additional relief for the industrial units in SAS Nagar, as vehicles would directly hit the NH without entering the city; earlier the commuters were forced to move through the Spice Chowk in SAS Nagar and Landran road.
Sanyam Dudeja, chief operating officer of Taneja Developers and Infrastructure Ltd said, "Once this road comes up, Sector 71, a fully developed sector of GMADA, will become very approachable. As it will connect NH-21 to the upcoming international airport, people coming from other parts of Punjab, mainly the Doaba region, will be able to reach the airport road directly, without entering Chandigarh and SAS Nagar."
Compensation in SAS Nagar till date:
1. In 2008, GMADA had paid Rs. 1.5 crore per acre to nearly 150 farmers of Jeorheri village for the acquisition of 306 acres to expand the Chandigarh international airport.
2. In April 2010, GMADA paid Rs. 1.5 crore per acres for the acquisition of 771.34 acres for residential urban estate 'GMADA Aero-city'.
3. In August 2010, GMADA paid Rs. 1.5 crore per acre for 444 acres acquired for urban estate at Mullanpur, in the vicinity of Chandigarh.
4. In February 2013, Rs. 2.37 crore will be paid to farmers for acquiring 46 acres to complete the airport road.