This article was written by advocate Jogi Naidu KV Allu. It is an insightful and informative summary of key concerns over the planned aerotropolis at Bhogapuram, in the district of Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. GAAM is very grateful for his contribution:
Proposed Green Field Airport in 15000 acres of ‘agriculture land’ at Bhogapuram, Vizianagaram District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
1. The project would wipe out approximately 10,000 families property, livelihood causing huge displacement.
2. The distance between the proposed Project and existing Visakhapatnam Airport is less than 25 nautical miles and is against all established norms. There should be a minimum of 150 nautical miles distance between any two airports.
3. The project would effect environment and cause ecological imbalance in the area. “Champavathi River” runs in the area.
4. The project directly effects fishermen villages who depend on both the agriculture holdings and also on the sea. Their life cycles are directly related to location. Displacing them would only nullify their fundamental rights under the constitution of India.
5. Right to property could be deprived only by authority of Law and the relevant Law for land Acquisition is the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. BUT the Government of Andhra Pradesh is adopting a novel unconstitutional method “Land Pooling” to avoid the implementation of 2013 Act. In other words, the Government is trying to take land without spending a single rupee.
6. There was or is NO DEMAND made by anyone from any quarter for the proposed airport at Bhogapuram.
7. The real requirement for an airport is between Viziawada and Nellore. Whereas, the Government is unnecessarily proposing airport in a region where there are five air strips in a distance of 300 KM range.
8. The existing Visakhapatnam Airport is operating at below 50% of its capacity and could take air traffic for another Twenty years. Moreover, Government has invested more than Rs.200 crores for its expansion and there is scope for further expansion with additional runway and new terminal.
9. The Government of India may think of establishing a New Airport between existing Visakhapatnam Airport and Bubaneswar Airport in Odisha. 10. The requirement of 15000 acres of Land for Green Field Airport itself stinks of interests and motives beyond establishing a mere airport. All concerned with good governance, environment, human rights and constitutional propriety should closely examine the developments of this proposed Green Field Airport at Bhogapuram.
A.K.V.JOGI NAIDU ADVOCATE
The map below includes the fertile farmland area where the aerotropolis is planned. An article in the Times of India states that the government plans to acquire land from the following villages: A Ravivalasa, Gudepuvalasa, Chepalakancheru, Kouluwada, Tudem, Basavapalli, Mujeru, Chakivalasa, Kongavanipalem, and part of Bhogapuram village. I assume ‘Mujeru’ is misspelled and actually the village of Munjeru. Amatam Ravivalasa, Gudepuvalasa, Munjeru, Chakivalasa, Kongavanipalem can be seen on the map.