Dimapur, March 1: The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has questioned the Government of Nagaland on why “technically unworthy site” at Ciethu-Chiechama is being prioritized over “technically feasible site” at Ruzaphema village for setting up an alternative airport in the State.
The NPRAAF was reacting to the notification issued by DC Kohima for acquisition of additional land at Ciethu Chiechama under Kohima District for the Ciethu-Chiechama Airport. It asked the Government whether feasibility report was issued by Airport Authority of India (AAI) for the said area of land before the proposed outright purchase/acquisition of land for the airport.
The forum also wanted to know under what scheme and account of the Government compensation will be paid to the land owner(s) for the acquisition of the additional land.
Reminding that in 2006 a land measuring 600 acres of land was acquired for setting up of the airport, which it said was sufficient enough to set up an airport, the NRAAF termed as unfortunate that the area acquired by the State Government for the airport has two hillocks, which requires to be knocked down and leveled and huge retaining wall raised on both sides, incurring heavy expenditure for an airport of a small aircraft. In view of it, the planning commission turned down the proposal during 2007-2012 on the ground that the said area/site was technically and financially not feasible and worthy for airport.
The forum said in 2015 the Government of Nagaland again proposed Ruzaphema village site for alternative airport to Dimapur, and subsequently technical team from AAI came and made aerial and ground survey of the proposed land for airport and was fully satisfied.
Later AAI issued a feasibility report with a remark that the proposed airport has the potential to be one of the best airport in the country.
“Surprisingly the same site to set up an airport has not been expedited for larger interest of the state and nation at large,” it said.
The NPRAAF requested the State Government not to set up an airport in a location which was observed to be technically unworthy site by Airport Authority of India as it will have future consequences. “The state Government is invariably expected to work for larger interest and not for vested interest,” it said while appealing to the State Government to ponder over the matter and take wise decision to avoid setting bad precedence and dragging the issue further. (Page News Service)