With the ground level obstacle survey set to be taken for the proposed airport in Purandar taluka of Pune district, the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has asked the district administration to study feasible models of rehabilitation for a smooth land acquisition process to speed up the project.
With the state government keen to avoid any forcible land acquisition if the Purandar site is finalised, the Pune district administration is evaluating “feasible rehabilitation models”, especially the Cochin international airport model which has been a trendsetter in offering a rehabilitation package to those affected by the project. Pune district collector Saurabh Rao said the survey would be undertaken soon and the district administration was looking at various models of ideal rehabilitation.
“We have established contact with the Cochin airport officials. We will study the model in detail and share it with villagers so that there is absolutely no doubt in their minds. For any land acquisition, there are several hurdles. If there are schemes to benefit the landholders, the process becomes easier. With a feasible model, the land acquisition and the entire project could be expedited,” said Rao.
The Cochin airport model became a case study for the World Bank for its unique rehabilitation package, which included freehold title of six per cent of the developed property to the 719 people whose land was acquired, alternative land in some cases and jobs to the project affected, among other benefits.
Additional Chief Secretary of Kerala V J Kurien, who was the then Managing Director for the Cochin international airport and earlier collector, said the rehabilitation was carried out in the period of 1996-99. “With imbroglio on parting with the land, we devised a method of ideal rehabilitation package where the market rate was given along with 6 cents of developed land and jobs for those whose land was taken for the airport. The rehabilitation project was carried out in the shortest period and this has been looked upon as an ideal rehabilitation package in the country,” said Kurien.
Nearly 821 persons were given jobs and they still continue to work there, he said. The ground level obstacle survey at Purandar will be carried out by empanelled agencies for two to three weeks in the areas surveyed by the team in the first two weeks of September. For the proposed airport, the villages of Pargaon Memane, Ikhatpur, Munjewadi, Rajewadi and Waghapur in Purandar taluka were surveyed by the team. “The ground level obstacle survey comes about only after there is at least 90 per cent finalisation of the land. However, the survey will give a clearer picture along with the technical details to finalise the location,” said the collector.