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State seal on land transfer for airport expansion

The state government on Tuesday decided to transfer 6.37 acres of land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), setting the ball rolling for the expansion of the aerodrome in the city.

The state cabinet chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar approved the revenue and land department’s proposal to transfer the land of the Special Task Force [home (special) department] to the AAI. The plot is on the western side of the airport.

The airport expansion plan has been hanging in balance for the past several years because of the non-availability of land in its vicinity.

It has also been a bone of contention between the state government and the Union civil aviation ministry for sometime.

Additional secretary Binod Kumar Singh said the AAI would have to pay around Rs 114.66 crore for the land.

Airport director Arvind Dubey said the land measuring 6.37 acres would be used to develop parking bay for planes.

“The AAI had demanded 8 acres of land adjacent to the airport, which is not in use of the Special Task Force (read the state government),” he told The Telegraph, adding that the AAI had been demanding land for the expansion of the airport for several years.

Besides putting its seal on the land transfer proposal, the cabinet finalised the house rent and the related allowances of MLAs and MLCs, whose bungalows would be demolished.

Each MLA and the MLC would get Rs 22,250 as house rent and an additional Rs 6,000 per month to foot the electricity, water and other bills till new flats are ready.

Total 134 members of the Assembly and Bihar Legislative Council are eligible for the house rent and the allowance. These would cost the state exchequer Rs 4.5 crore per annum.

The cabinet approved the itinerary for the budget session of the state legislature, too. It would commence on February 18.

The economic survey would be tabled on February 19 while the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal would be presented on February 21. The session would conclude on April 3.

The cabinet also approved the rural works department’s proposal to connect all the habitations having population of less than 250 with link roads under the Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and extended the tenure of the committee constituted on April 24 last year for the fixation of sanctioned posts, appointment, salary, arrears and pension of teaching and non-teaching employees of the universities. Former chief secretary V.S. Dubey heads the panel.

“Altogether 17 proposals were adopted in the cabinet meeting,” Singh, the additional secretary, said.