Kolkata: According to underground lease owner Coal India Limited, the proposed Aerotropolis at Andal in Burdwan district of West Bengal will block coal reserves of about 2300 million tonnes.
In February 2008, Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd. (BAPL) signed a technical services agreement (TSA) with Changi Airports International (CAI) for the upcoming airport within the Durgapur Aerotropolis, an airport city project. It was projected to be India's first privately owned airport, a part of the $2.5 billion Durgapur Aerotropolis project.
The land acquisition programme for the Rs10,000-crore Aerotropolis project in Andal seems to have hit some rough weather, with the discovery that the 3,500-acre site, on which the airport city is planned for construction, sits atop coal reserves worth over Rs2.35 lakh crore.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) has already raised serious objections to the site of the proposed Aerotropolis, on the grounds that any permanent structure on the site would ''affect the energy security of the country''.
Now, once again, Coal India chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya has said that CIL has pointed out to the state government that around 2300 million tonne of superior quality non-coking coal will be blocked if the aero-complex is located at the proposed site. He said CIL had apprised the Coal and Civil Aviation ministries about its reservations on the proposed project.
The site where the project is to come up sites on an area where has an underground leasehold for coal extraction.
The CIL has requested the state government to review the proposed location of the Aerotropolis in the larger interest of the country's energy security. He has recommended that any permanent infrastructure at that place should be avoided.
Bhattacharya said that if implemented, the project would impact CIL's plan of increasing coal production.