New Delhi: The Punjab government may have taken a cue from the central government's latest directives on SEZ land acquisition in asking the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to acquire land directly from farmers for expansion of the airport at Chandigarh. According to reports, the Punjab government may have asked the AAI to directly acquire 300 acres of land, which it needs in order to expand the perimeter of the airport, from the farmers themselves.
According to reports, AAI officials have said that since the airport would also help Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, the Punjab government feels it is not incumbent on them to bear the cost alone. AAI officials, in turn, have said that it is not possible for them to purchase land, expected to cost around Rs400 crore, and fork out an additional Rs300 crore for completing the project.
This has prompted the AAI to take up the matter with the civil aviation ministry, asking it for guidelines that will help them to tackle such cases.
Faced with a unique predicament, AAI officials are also pointing fingers at the Centre for its failure to come out with a clear-cut civil aviation policy. The proposed policy is still to see the light of day even after a number of years, and even as the country's aviation sector is experiencing an unparalleled boom.
It may be mentioned that the problem has come up with only the Chandigarh airport, for the Punjab government had earlier provided land for the Amritsar and Sahnewal airport projects.