Nellore: Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure and Investments Department, on Thursday said that the government has dropped the proposal to build a domestic airport at Dagadarthi in Nellore district. Jain stated this close on the heels of a report published in The Hans India on April 7 with the headline, “Domestic airport at Dagadarthi shelved?”
(Picture used for representational purpose only)
He told The Hans India after an interaction with Collector Mutyala Raju and Joint Collector Imtiyaz that the government is considering other places out of the district for developing the airport. People from the district have been hoping to have an airport to boost growth and industrial progress. He cited ‘local issues’ as the reason for shifting of the airport project.
“The government has decided to shift the project as there was no cooperation from the local farmers whose lands were notified for acquisition for the airport,” he said. Even as the farmers were demanding more compensation, Jain said that the land cost would take the project beyond its estimated cost manifold and make it ultimately unviable.
The state government proposed a domestic airport at Dagadarthi in Kodavalur mandal and initiated the process of land acquisition two years ago. Feasibility studies were also carried out as a prelude to secure several permissions from the Government of India.
The district administration identified around 3,408 acres of land under Damavaram, Dagadarthi, Velupodu and K Kourugunta villages for the proposed airport in 2013 and subsequently the Airports Authority of India had expressed its interest for initial acquisition of 614 acres and the Union Government had accorded clearance in December 2015.
The state government had also incurred more than Rs 20 crore for land acquisition. But the official efforts hit a roadblock following resistance from the land owners, demanding more compensation. Finally, the project went into rough weather after some farmers moved the court with a plea to revise the land rates fixed by the administration.