Land acquisition for Mangalore runway extension yet to be finalized!


Team Udayavani, Oct 5, 2021, 9:11 AM IST

Mangaluru: The land acquisition for extending the existing runway at the Mangalore International Airport is still progressing at a snail’s pace.

After the Adani group took over the airport management, the question of land acquisition has taken a backseat. The process is still stuck in its first phase.

After the tragic plane crash in 2010, demands for runway extension were raised. The present runway was found to be inadequate for landing large aircraft. It was argued that runway extension would enable aircraft of all sizes from home and abroad to arrive directly to Mangaluru.

The state government is responsible for providing adequate land for airport development. A long time has passed since the district administration submitted a report to the State’s Infrastructure Department identifying areas of Kolambe and Adyapady for the purpose of the runway extension.

The project proposal estimated the cost at Rs 400 crores. It was decided that the cost of land acquisition would be borne by the Karnataka government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) would pay for the construction. But, the state government later demanded the AAI to pay for the whole project, and this caused delays.

AAI to take up land acquisition:

Mangalore Assistant Commissioner Madan Mohan told Udayavani, “A few years ago, the airport authority requested the district administration for 33 acres of land for the runway extension. The maintenance of the airport has changed hands to Adani and they cannot carry out the land acquisition. It is therefore decided to acquire land through AAI. Currently, the discussions on fixing suitable rates for the land are ongoing.”

What needs to be done?

The final amount for buying land requested by AAI – including the acreage and the land rates – has to be finalized. The district administration then has to submit a letter to the revenue department for publishing preliminary notification.

Once it’s approved, the land is surveyed, an estimation list has to be prepared and the compensation process for those who lose the land would begin. Once the rates are finalized, final notification would be published and compensation would be disbursed to the affected. The land is then handed over to the airport authority.

One can only imagine how long it might take!

2000 feet additional runway

The runway in operation now is 8,038 feet long. In 2013, a plan was drawn to lengthen the runway to 11,600 feet, by acquiring 280 acres of land, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,120 crores. AAI had submitted a proposal to the state government for the same. Due to the cost consideration, it was later decided to shorten the extension to 10,500 feet. This too was costly for the state government and it has only decided to acquire 33 acres of land for now. The rates are still not finalized.

Dakshina Kannada district collector Dr. Rajendra K V informed that the land acquisition process for runway expansion is underway. “We are in talks with landowners for direct purchase of land by negotiating rates. The district administration will facilitate the pricing and supplementary arrangements. Adani group has to pay the required amount. a decision on the matter will be taken at a later stage,” he added.

 

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