ITANAGAR, MAY 25: The State Government under Hon’ble Chief Minister Pema Khandu has been, from day one, pursuing with the Government of India to speed up the process of construction of the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi despite setbacks inflicted by various factors like PIL against the shifting of the project to Hollongi, agitations, allegations, etc and passed on to the present government.
On the face of recent outpourings by certain Opposition leaders and wild allegations thrown, this is to put the records straight once and for all. The Inter-Ministerial Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation Comprising representatives from the Ministry of DONER, DGCA, AAI, and Planning Commission visited both the proposed sites, Karsingsa-Banderdeva and Hollongi in 2012 for comparative study. On the basis of Inter-Ministerial Committee recommendation, the Principal Secretary to the then Prime Minister of India accepted Hollongi as the Site for Construction of Greenfield Airport due to overriding considerations of safety & Technical acceptability. As per minutes of the said meeting, the State Government was to convey acceptance of Hollongi site as new Site latest by 31/08/2012 so that Union Ministry of Civil Aviation can move a Cabinet Note for Cabinet approval.
After various meetings and site visits, at the instance of the State Government, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, again constituted a Jt. Committee for comparative analysis of the proposed site at Banderdeva and Hollongi for development of Greenfield Airport at Itanagar with AAI Chairman as the Chairman.
In compliance, members of the Jt. Committee inspected the Banderdeva & Hollongi Sites on 08/12/2016. The aforesaid Jt. Committee submitted its report vide letter No. AV-20015/42/2015-AAI-MOCA dated 20th February/2017, and proposed that Greenfield Airport at Hollongi is preferable as it will be suitable for all weather day and night operations and will serve a long term air connectivity solution for the State Capital, Itanagar and surrounding areas.
The Jt Committee also observed that land acquisition cost is very high and land issues are very critical for Hollongi. There are legal and social issues pertaining to land acquisition which have to be settled by the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Jt. Committee in its report, in addition to other observations and analysis, has also submitted the comparison of cost component for Hollongi as well as Banderdewa site and the same was presented by the Civil Aviation, Department of Arunachal Pradesh to the State Cabinet in the State Cabinet meeting held on 18th May’ 2017.
ACN reported on 14 March, 2014
In the report, as far as Hollongi site is concerned, the said Jt. Committee has recommended land area of 212.46 hectares (525 acres) and R & R area of 40.41 hectares (99.9 acres) limiting to construction of Airport for A320 type of aircraft. Thus, in total, 624.90 acres (i/c land for rehabilitation of Chakma community). Earlier ACN reported as "Land for Land, proper compensation and rehabilitation assured to the Holongi Greenfield airport affected Chakma families."
After detailed deliberations, the Hon’ble State Cabinet in the State Cabinet meeting held on 18th May, 2017 approved to forward the proposal for construction of Greenfield Airport as recommended by the above said Jt. Committee. After obtaining approval from the Hon’ble Minister Civil Aviation/ Hon’ble Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh, the decision of the State Govt. was conveyed to the Jt. Secretary Civil Aviation, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, vide letter No. DCA/AIRPORT/ITA/2016-17 (V-II), dated 13th June 2017.
In view of the issue raised by the Jt Committee pertaining to land acquisition and subsequent letter of Chairman AAI, Govt of India wherein requested to furnish the status of land (Govt/Private) proposed for Hollongi Airport project along with cost of land involved and rehabilitation cost etc, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh decided to refer the issues pertaining to the Ownership and status of land at Hollongi to the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of HM (LM), Shri Nabam Rebia with Shri Wangki Lowang, HM(Agriculture), Shri Alo Libang, HM(RD, Panchayat), Shri Tamiyo Taga, HM(Industries, Textile & Handicrafts) and all the concerned Secretaries/Commissioners/Principal Secretaries as members. The Committee was requested to submit its recommendations on the status and Ownership of Land earmarked for Hollongi Airport, after examining all the relevant documents, papers, Orders of the Hon’ble Court in relevant cases and concerned files etc by 26.01.2018. The Committee after going through all the voluminous records finally submitted its report on 8/5/2018. The Chief Minister directed to place the report along with all facts and documents in the next Cabinet scheduled for 10th May 2018.
Accordingly, the State Cabinet that met under Chief Minister Pema Khandu on 10th May, 2018, discussed in detail the report submitted by the Nabam Rebia Committee that details the status of ownership of land measuring 948.56 acres at Hollongi for construction of the airport as sought by the Centre and its recommendations. The Cabinet approved that the recommendations of the Committee should be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India, for further necessary action.
The Cabinet decision is being forwarded to the Government of India shortly for final approval. Thus the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has taken prompt action and now a final report answering all issues raised by MoCA in respect of status of ownership of land and compensation for acquisition of requisite amount of land being submitted shortly to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India, for finalizing the proposal for construction of airport at Hollongi.
It is to reiterate that the Government of Arunachal Pradesh is totally committed for the construction of Airport at Hollongi, Itanagar, as it is one of the dream projects of the State Government. The Airport at Hollongi shall provide air connectivity to the Capital Complex of Itanagar with the rest of the country, which shall, in turn, significantly benefit all the citizens of the State.