Machilipatnam MP wants to know if the latest bill on compensation will be implemented in this case

Land acquisition has yet again turned into a critical parameter for taking forward the proposed expansion of Gannavaram Airport with Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana Rao seeking clarification from the Revenue Department on the rate of compensation to be offered for the lands to be acquired.

At the first-ever Airport Development Committee meeting organised in the city on Wednesday to ascertain the viewpoint of stakeholders on the proposed expansion of the Airport runway and taking up other construction works in the wake of Revenue Department issuing a Draft Notification for 492 acres needed, about a week ago.

Chevvuri Hari Kiran, Vijayawada Municipal Commissioner representing the Krishna Collector, said amount was sanctioned by the State government through a Government Order and the funds would be released at the time payment was supposed to be made to farmers, whose lands were acquired. The objections were being received against the Draft Notification and a Draft Declaration would be issued within 30 days and earliest by January 2014, and the negotiations on rate of compensation would begin, the Commissioner said.

The MP wanted to know if the latest bill on giving compensation 3 times the market rate for such project would be implemented in this case, the Commissioner said it had not received the President’s assent. “If the President signs the bill, the provisions would be applicable for compensation in this case too,” he added. Airport Authority of India Gannavaram Airport Director B.G. Patil, who was the convener of the meeting, explained all the aspects of new proposals and how were they contemplating developing the airport. He hoped that it would eventually get the international airport status in the years to come.

Shortage of staff

Andhra Chamber of Commerce president Muthavarapu Murali Krishna said due to non-recruitment of six members of staff by the Airport Authority of India, the Gannvaram was losing the scope to operate flights till 10 p.m., though some airlines were ready to operate.

While the Municipal Commissioner wanted the Airport Director to prioritise the chunks of lands that it would need for phased expansion of the airport. Mr. Patil said construction and expansion works were interlinked and so such prioritising over a very large period of time was not possible. Other members demanded better signages on the National Highway No.5 at the entry point. Better CC TV camera network was demanded by Deputy Police Commissioner Ravi Prakash and the Airport Director wanted RTC to run buses from Vijayawada/Guntur to Gannavaram Airport.

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