Let the expert decide

The green field airport project is once again in limelight for all the wrong reasons. The airport which is in offing since last many years is yet to see light of the day. The land affected people of Hollongi have alleged that present government is again planning to shift back airport to Karsingsa. They have threatened to launch agitation incase govt goes ahead with the plan. It’s sad that successive state governments have miserably failed to properly pursue this project. The then Union Home Minister Shivraj V Patil laid the foundation stone of Greenfield airport at Karsingsa in 2007. A decade has passed but airport has not came up and it continuous to mire in controversy.
It is difficult to say who should be blamed for the mess surrounding airport project. But there are no denying that bureaucrats be it in state level and also in Delhi played a major role in delaying the project. Even though foundation stone was laid at Karsingsa, the work never started as finance ministry official initially raised concern over high cost for earth cutting works. Out of blue in 2012 Airport Authority of India (AAI) recommended Hollongi as the new site. Technical Committee constituted by Union ministry of Civil Aviation rejected the Banderdewa site on reasons that the site is surrounded by hilly terrains and obstacles besides limited scope for future expansion and poor safety environment and high cost implications. Irate over the decision of ministry, the people of Karsingsa filed litigations after litigations which further delayed the project. Enough time has been lost. State government in consultations with civil aviation minister should take a firm decision and select the site for airport at the earliest. People of both Karsingsa and Hollongi should let expert decide which is the best site and do not create unnecessary obstacles. Because of their infighting, the state stands to lose a major developmental project.

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