Durgapur, Oct. 3: The Burdwan administration has begun discussions with villagers to convince them to part with land to shift high-tension electricity towers so that the runway of the upcoming airport in Burdwan’s Andal can be cleared.
On Tuesday, the sub-divisional officer of Durgapur held a meeting with the additional district magistrate (land acquisition), officials of airport project promoter Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), panchayat pradhans and police to draw up a plan to get land for shifting the transmission towers soon.
Six towers of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd on both sides of the runway and cables that criss-cross the strip will not allow planes to land or take off.
Last month, the Singapore government-owned Changi Airports International requested the Bengal administration to help remove impediments in shifting the towers so that the airport that is part of the Rs 10,000-crore airport city project can be completed.
Changi Airports International is a stakeholder in BAPL.
BAPL requires around 70 acres in the Andal and Laodoha mouzas to shift the transmission towers. The company is willing to purchase the land directly from the owners but a section of villagers is reluctant, alleging that BAPL is more interested in real estate than in setting up the airport.
Sources said Mamata Banerjee instructed the Burdwan administration after the naming ceremony of the airport on September 19 to find a prompt solution to the impasse.
“The chief minister is keen to ensure that the first flight from the Andal airport takes off on Poila Boisakh (mid-April). We are trying hard to solve the land issue. It will take at least three to four months to shift the towers once land is available. We are in a hurry as we have only six months left,” a district official said.
“We have requested the panchayat pradhans to convince the villagers to part with land,” he added.
BAPL and district land officials today begun a fresh survey to earmark land for shifting the towers.