4 years after foundation, airport site still uncer

Last Updated: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 11:30

Itanagar: Uncertainty still hangs over the
final choice of the site for an ambitious greenfield airport
project in Arunachal Pradesh as Karsingsa, where a foundation
stone for the project was laid four years back, is being
reconsidered.

Two sites for the location of the airport had earlier
been rejected, one of them being Imchi near Gumto, which was
cancelled on account of being a riverbed and not having an
even ground.

The other choice was Poma which was also ruled out for
being a place where clouds hover at all time.

The two sites having been rejected, Karsingsa, 25 kms
from Itanagar, was next selected as the site for the airport
and the foundation stone was laid on February 20, 2007 by then
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil with the assurance of full
support from the Centre.

The Defence Ministry and the state government had
reached an agreement that prior to the commencement of the
operation of passenger flights, representatives of the Indian
Air Force would be involved in establishing the airspace
coordination procedures on June 30, 2007.

After all official procedures were completed for the
acquisition of land with a green signal from the local people
and when the actual work was to start, it was suddenly
announced that Hollongi was being considered as the new
`probable` site.

The reason cited was that Karsingsa would be "a costly
affair" as more earth cutting would be involved as pointed out
by the executing agency - the Airport Authority of India,
Civil Aviation Commissioner Hage Khoda said.

The two sites having been rejected, Karsingsa, 25 kms
from Itanagar, was next selected as the site for the airport
and the foundation stone was laid on February 20, 2007 by then
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil with the assurance of full
support from the Centre.

The Defence Ministry and the state government had
reached an agreement that prior to the commencement of the
operation of passenger flights, representatives of the Indian
Air Force would be involved in establishing the airspace
coordination procedures on June 30, 2007.

After all official procedures were completed for the
acquisition of land with a green signal from the local people
and when the actual work was to start, it was suddenly
announced that Hollongi was being considered as the new
`probable` site.

The reason cited was that Karsingsa would be "a costly
affair" as more earth cutting would be involved as pointed out
by the executing agency - the Airport Authority of India,
Civil Aviation Commissioner Hage Khoda said.

The place where the foundation stone was laid was
damaged some years back by wild elephants. The hunt for the
site had started in 1985.

However, Khoda said the state government had written to
the Ministry of Civil Aviation recently to reconsider the
earlier site at Karsingsa, arguing that the site at Hollongi
may not be feasible for the construction as compensation
pay-out would be much higher.

Also, it would be a time consuming affair to go through
all the formalities again, which have been already completed
for the Karsingsa site, Khoda said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 11:30

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