1446 families to be affected by the Gaggal Airport extension

 Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu stated in the state assembly on Thursday that as many as 1446 families of 14 villages would be affected by the extension of Gaggal airport who would be provided an appropriate rehabilitation package to rehabilitate and compensate them. 

Chief Minister was replying to a query raised by BJP member Vipin Singh Parmar, Pawan Kumar Kajal, Congress member Chaitanya Sharma and Udhir Sharma in the question hours. Mr Sukhu said that Gaggal airport in Kangra district is being expanded to accommodate big aircraft and Techno-Feasibility study revealed that it could be expanded by acquiring more area. Out of 14 villages proposed to be acquired for the purpose, people of ten villages are ready to acquire their agricultural land for the airport. Chief minister said that many people of four villages who are concerned about the ruining of their economy and livelihood to be consulted to resolve their concern . ” The Government does not want to displace any family and it would come out with a rehabilitation scheme for affected families and no one would become homeless due to construction of airports. 

BJP Member Jai Ram Thakur , Vipin Singh Parmar and Pawan Kajal stated that the Government should provide appropriate treatment to the affected families and the government should change the expansion plan to reduce the displacement of affected people. Former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that to expand Gaggal airport, the government should provide compensation on the factor two in market cost. Vipin Singh Parmar said that during Jai Ram Thakur government provisions were made of Rs 1500 Crore for acquisition of land out of which Rs 1000 Cr was allocated for acquiring land in Mandi and Rs 500 Crore for Gaggal airport. BJP members said that the government should expedite the process of construction of the airport. 

Chief Minister Sukhinver Singh Sukhu said that the state government wants both the airports to be constructed soon to accommodate the big aircraft. He said that previous governments tried to expand the airports in the state to promote air transport and tourism activities but unfortunately no big airport could complete the works in the five years so far. My government would try to complete the expansion of airport by completing all necessary process for which opposition members should also help the government to do so.  

He said that some people are demanding adequate compensation and others also want compensation as well as land for their rehabilitation. The appropriate packages to rehabilitate affected families to be awarded before construction of the airport. The Chief Minister, replying to a  supplementary query on this issue, asked the member if he is interested in expansion of the airport or not . He stated that the previous Government announced to provide Rs 1000 Cr. for Mandi and Rs 500 Cr for Gaggal airport but money was not released by the centre so far to acquire the land. Chief minister said that the official process for the acquisition of the airport has not been done by the previous government; however after coming to power recently Congress Government not only completed the official works for the acquisition of land but also conducted  Social Economic Impact assessment. He said that the Congress government conducted the SEIA of Green field Mandi.

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