The proposed airport city at Durgapur’s Andal continues to face steep resistance as the aggrieved Andal villagers stopped civil construction work for the second time in two days yesterday (February 26). Earlier on February 25, civil construction work at the proposed Aerotropolis site in Andal was stopped by police after villagers erupted protesting against violation of section 144 of the CrPC clamped by the executive magistrate’s court last week.
The agitation intensified just two days before the chief executive officer of Singapore’s Changi International Airport (CIA) Lim Liang Song and some Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL) directors are to meet state industries and finance minister Amit Mitra at Nabanna on Thursday to discuss measures to speed up the process of clearing bottlenecks that have plagued the Greenfield airport city project at Durgapur’s Andal.
On February 25 Villagers blocked NH2 at 7:30 p.m. alleging that BAPL – the promoters of the proposed Rs 10,000 crore aerotropolis had been flouting the state’s order and was depriving the locals. Nearly 60 Andal residents had blocked the NH2 in Dhubchururia crossing alleging that the project authority was encroaching the land not acquired by the state for the project. Police, considering the villager’s objection had restrained the project authority.
Police and the district administration officials, however, tried to convince the irked and unwilling farmers on the plea that the promoters of the proposed Aerotropolis were continuing the civil work of laying a 3200 metres road within its acquired premises as the Executive Magistrate’s Court has clamped the 144 Cr Pc in favour of the company last week.
On 24 February, the Executive Magistrate’s Court – responding to a petition filed by Uttam Dawn against some locals of Amlouka and Pathsaora villages adjacent to the proposed airport city project area had passed an order that the locals won’t be allowed to trespass into the project site and cause hindrance to project work.
“Today, we saw the authority had further pressed machinery into operation and work for road construction had begun,” said an unwilling farmer.
Another unwilling farmer complained: “We informed the matter to police and sought their intervention.” Police, accompanied by the local BDO, further stopped civil work yesterday. Durgapur SDM Mrs Kasturi Sengupta discussed the matter with the delegation of the aggrieved villagers.
It now seems that BAPL will once again fail to meet its fifth deadline of starting flight operation at Andal airport on April 14.