Proposed airport and airport city at Andal near Durgapur crossed its last hurdle by giving up the quest for final tranche of 144 acres of land that was yet to be acquired. This major landmark and sensitive decision taken by the promoters of the project paved the way for the setting up of the airport by September 2012. This news will certainly be a welcome relief for the development hungry people of Durgapur. Agitation of unwilling farmers who did not wanted to part away with their land demanding a higher compensation, will now have no other option but to make way for this dream project that is all set to bring a sea change in the life of the people of Durgapur and adjoining area ushering in massive development.
The decision to make do with 2201 acre that had been acquired and to accommodate the ambitious project in an area that is 144 acre short of the original plan was taken at a crucial board meeting on June 28th . The meeting was attended by top brass of Bengal Aerotropolis Pvt Ltd (BAPL) and honchos of co-promoter Changi Airports Singapore. West Bengal industries minister Partha Pratim Chatterjee and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation has been apprised of this latest development. Thankfully this development remove the biggest tumbling block in the way of Rs 10,000-crore project, that is all set to change the socio-economic scenario of Durgapur and its adjoining areas but is also poised to become the showcase project of the Mamata Banerjee government.
“Given the state government’s outlook on acquisition and present political compulsion, this pragmatic decision remove the biggest tumbling block and the project will be able to move ahead full stream”, said BAPL director Partha Ghosh. He further said, “the fact that, 450-odd farmers who held this 144 acres of land refused to part with it at the promised price, demanding higher compensation prompted us to modify the project to accommodate all components within the curtailed area, as there was no other option.”
Though Changi Airports Singapore and other overseas investors got edgy when confronted with changes in commitments, Changi Airports being a government-owned firm, did not wish to be embroiled in controversy and agreed to compromise. The trio visited the site on June 29 to assess the impact.
Though the initial project size of 2345 acre gets reduced to 2201 acre, according to sources, the airport will not get affected and the rest of the project will have to be squeezed into the revised site area. The worst affected will be the frontage next to the highway. The project will have to make do with a six lane main arterial road linking NH 2 to the airport and build its frontage on the land facing this road. The other components – industrial park, IT Park, residential and entertainment – will share the impact. There will be a financial impact as well, but it will not dampen the project progress or impact the financing by the six bank consortium.
Durgapur Aerotropolis is India’s India’s first Aerotropolis (an Airport City) in the Durgapur-Asansol region of Bardhaman district at an estimated investment of S$4 billion. The project will involve setting up an Industrial Park, logistics hub, IT park with supporting infrastructure like housing, tourism, healthcare and social interchange facilities. While the Airport will be developed over 300 hectares, the supporting industrial and social infrastructure will be developed over 600 hectares.
The Durgapur Aerotropolis is India’s first aerotropolis project and its first privately owned merchant airport. The aerotropolis involves the setting up of an industrial park, a logistics hub and a township around the privately owned greenfield airport. The project is CAI’s first investment in an Indian greenfield airport city project.