Thursday, October 11, 2007

Belgaum Airport major hurdle cleared

BELGAUM: Land acquisition, the major stumbling- block for developing Sambra airport, has been cleared as farmers have agreed to give up their farm lands following government’s tempting offers of Rs five lakh per acre.

Farmers have opposed the move for some time but the good offer of compensation coupled with the promise of giving one person per family of the affected job have broken their resolution.

In fact, it’s a bonanza for the farmers. Apart from compensation, separate sum would be paid for the trees lost, and for open wells and bore wells and temporary or permanent structures on the plots.

Revenue department will conduct the survey soon. The Civil Aviation Ministry had proposed expansion of the Belgaum airport adding 370 acres.

But providing land was the responsibility of the State Government.

Government had held several meetings with the Sambra farmers, but could not break the ice.

Their contention was that the lands which are being acquired by the government are well-irrigated and cost more than the compensation proposed.

The farmers who held a meeting with the district administration on Thursday had demanded Rs 8 to 12 lakh compensation per acre.

However, after discussions, most of the farmers agreed to hand over their land for Rs 5 lakh per acre. Apart from the compensation, a government job would be given to each family, loan will be given to undertake self employment, the district administration assured.

The graveyard located in the middle of the identified land would be shifted 4 km away from the airport.

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