With regular follow-up reported by the Chief Minister’s Office, the Vizianagaram District Administration is in a hurry to complete land acquisition for the construction of an access road from the national highway to the proposed site of the Bhogapuram International Airport in Vizianagaram District.
District Collector A. Suryakumari and Vizianagaram Revenue Divisional Officer Bh. Bhavani Sankar, who recently visited Bhogapuram, understood that at least 80 acres of land was needed for the construction of an access road. “We offered between ₹37 lakh and ₹40 lakh per acre. Farmers who were happy with the amount could hand over the land to us very soon,” Mr. Bhavani Sankar said while addressing The Hindu.
According to him, much of the land for the construction of the airport has also been acquired although there have been legal entanglements in some places. “Out of 2,750 acres, 37 acres remain to be acquired. Some of the owners have gone to court about compensation and other issues. We discuss with the owners to overcome the legal entanglements. We are sure to complete the process very soon,” he added.
According to him, the government is building R&R settlements in Gudepuvalasa and Polepalli for people who have handed over their land to the government for the construction of an airport. Residents are said to have approached officials for the speedy completion of the settlement with all the required civic infrastructure.
The government will provide houses for the villagers of Kancherupalem, Kavulavada, Gudepuvalasa, A. Ravivalasa, Savaravilli and Ravada. Although the land acquisition covers 2,750 acres, the government will retain 500 acres. Only the remaining land would be transferred to the GMR group which was selected for the construction of the project.
Former Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju strongly opposed the retention of 500 acres of land by the government while saying there would not be enough land to accommodate maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and cargo handling. He said the project may not be viable without a cargo handling facility and other business activities which are expected to create jobs for many people.