Decks cleared for Bhogapuram International Airport; AP HC dismisses farmers petition

Over 70 farmers from Bhogapuram Mandal approached the AP High court in 2015 citing that the authorities had adopted a selective and quirky approach to land acquisition. The government had flouted the mandatory process in land acquisition.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  8 Nov 2022 10:33 AM GMT
Decks cleared for Bhogapuram International Airport; AP HC dismisses farmers petition

Vizianagaram: Decks have almost been cleared for laying the foundation stone for the proposed green-field international airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district.

Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed the petition filed by farmers challenging the land acquisition notification issued by the state government for the airport.

The AP government had issued a notification seeking land from the farmers in August 2015 for acquiring land in Bhogapuram Mandal for the proposed airport. Some aggrieved farmers challenged it in court.

Over 70 farmers from Bhogapuram Mandal approached the AP High court in 2015 citing that the authorities had adopted a selective and quirky approach to land acquisition. The government had flouted the mandatory process in land acquisition.

Some farmers said the original land acquisition plan was in the form of a square. However, to protect the land of some leaders they converted the shape plan to an Octopus, the farmers alleged. The farmers had got a stay order from the High Court.

District Collector of Vizianagaram, A Surya Kumari said the major cases related to challenging the land acquisition notification given by AP government for the Bhogapuram airport in 2015 have been cleared as the court dismissed the petition.

There are a few petitions on the Bhogapuram airport pending and those petitions will be cleared soon, she added.

While a long-standing legal dispute that had halted the progress of the airport project was cleared, it has now emerged that the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) — that was pending for a long time — for the closure of the existing Vizag airport, which was under the control of Indian Navy.

MoCA issued the NOC in September, but it came to light a few days ago. A monthly summary report of the ministry said the certificate was granted to the Andhra Pradesh government on September 13.

It essentially orders the closure of scheduled commercial operations at the Civil Enclave at the existing Vizag Naval Airfield (INS Dega) for 30 years.

GMR Group, which has constructed the international airport at Shamshabad of Hyderabad city, was awarded the Bhogapuram international project too. GMR Group is waiting for the completion of the land acquisition and handing over the site so that work could start.

The government had acquired about 2,150 acres of land so far and around 50 acres of land was yet to be acquired. With the AP High Court dismissing the petitions, the land acquisition will be completed. As per the plans, the airport is expected to handle 6.3 million passengers annually in the first phase and it will increase to 18 million depending on the demand once it becomes fully operational.

On the proposed foundation stone laying for the Bhogapuram airport during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Vizag on November 12, the Vizianagaram district administration said it is yet to be confirmed.

The stakeholders said that the foundation stone ceremony and work for the Bhogapuram airport may kick-start soon as the court dismissed the petitions.

Bhogapuram green-field international airport would provide good air connectivity to north coastal Andhra Pradesh (NCAP), comprising Vizag, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts, they added.

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