Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a green signal to the new airport plan for Pune,villagers whose land will be acquired for the purpose have opposed the move. One of the villages passed a resolution opposing acquisition of land in their area two days ago while another village observed a bandh on Monday.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,who interacted with farmers on Monday,promised that land acquisition would be carried out only after their consent. The site for the new airport was finalised at Khed Special Economic Zone,45 km from Pune city,during a meeting between the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Delhi on November 14. The airport project would be managed by the Airports Authority of India.
Officials said the proposed airport with two runways would require 1,268 hectares of land. Around 850 hectares has already been acquired for the project which is likely to affect 180 families. The airport required a 6 km by 2 km plot,they added.
Addressing the villagers during a function,Pawar said the airport would benefit farmers in the area as there would be faster movement of farm products to different parts of the country and even abroad. The government will not run bulldozers on your houses. The land acquisition will be done after your consent, he said.
Pawar said earlier it was decided that Dive Ghat area would be appropriate for an airport site. Maval and Mulshi area were rejected because of hilly terrain. We finally zeroed in on Khed area due to its vast barren land, he said.
Meanwhile,Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said the land acquisition process for the project will begin in December. We will hold discussions for land acquisition with villagers and offer them good financial package, he said.