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May drop Jewar International Airport project if farmers don’t give land: UP government

The Uttar Pradesh government might drop the Jewar International Airport project in Gautam Budh Nagar on the outskirts of Delhi if farmers do not agree to hand over their land for acquisitio

noida Updated: Aug 17, 2018 14:06 IST
Jewar International Airport,Noida,Greater Noida
The Uttar Pradesh government might drop the Jewar International Airport project in Gautam Budh Nagar on the outskirts of Delhi if farmers do not agree to hand over their land for acquisition.(HT File Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh government might drop the Jewar International Airport project in Gautam Budh Nagar on the outskirts of Delhi if farmers do not agree to hand over their land for acquisition, a top official said on Thursday.

Chairman of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development authority (Yeida), Prabhat Kumar, told Press Trust of India that they met over 100 farmers from across six villages in Noida on Wednesday and tried to clear their doubts regarding the land acquisition.

“We met village heads and farmers of six villages, where land was proposed to be acquired for the project. They were given offer regarding land rates and other benefits. If they (farmers) do not agree, the airport project might be dropped,” he said.

“The farmers were assured that their land will not be procured without their willingness as per the instructions of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The farmers will consider our proposal and respond. We hope for the best,” said Kumar, who is also the UP agriculture production commissioner.

According to the offer, farmers would be given Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,500 per square metre for the agricultural land that is to be acquired for an international airport in Jewar, along the 165km Yamuna Expressway.

The state government, in the first phase, wants to acquire 1,441 hectare from eight villages — Rohi, Parohi, Banwaribas, Ramner, Dayanatpur, Kishorpur, Mukimpur Shivara and Ranhera.

Of these, three villages will be excluded from the land acquisition process as of now, as land from Ramner, Mukimpur Shivara and Banwaribas will not be needed.

The government will acquire a total of 5,000 hectares for the project and its estimated budget is Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 crore. As per plans, the airport is expected to become operational by 2022-23.

“If farmers agree to the offer, the land will be bought by September and immediate payment will be made and the project will be inaugurated in October,” a senior official said.

Conceived in 2001 when Rajnath Singh was the chief minister, the Jewar airport project has seen several hurdles, mostly owing to a tussle between the central and state governments. The plan was forgotten after the BJP was voted out of power in Uttar Pradesh.

In the years that followed, the state saw the BSP and SP in the saddle. In 2010, then chief minister Mayawati attempted to revive the project. But, then UPA government at the Centre raised objections, saying an airport in Jewar could affect business at IGI Airport in the national capital.

When the SP came to power in 2012, it moved a fresh proposal for the airport to be built in Agra. After concerns were raised by the then defence minister over its proximity to the IAF base in Kheria, it was proposed that the project be moved to Firozabad or Saifai.

It was in 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre, that current Union minister Mahesh Sharma, elected as MP from the Gautam Buddh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency, said setting up an international airport in Jewar was one of his priorities.

In 2017, Yeida appointed engineering consultancy company RITES for the job.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 04:22 IST