Jewar airport: Land for phase one acquired, villagers clash with officials

Around two dozen villagers on Monday pelted stones at district officials and policemen during the acquisition of the final parcel of land for the construction of Jewar airport, officials said.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Gunja Singh was injured during the clash which broke out around 11.30 am, they said.

By transferring the final parcel of land to the Yamuna Expressway Authority, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration has completed the acquisition process for the first phase of Jewar airport, the officials said.

The administration acquired around 18 hectares of land, 11 from Dayanatpur and seven from Rohi, completing acquisition of 1,334 hectare of land in the region for the first phase of the Greenfield International Airport, billed to be the biggest when fully operational, they added.

However, around two dozen villagers, who have been protesting against the land acquisition for two years now, clashed with the administration officials who were accompanied by more than 40 policemen and allegedly pelted stones at them in which the sub-divisional magistrate got injured, a senior official told PTI.

The district administration has approached the police and an FIR was being registered against some villagers who took to violence, the official said.

"Today, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration has transferred the last parcel of land acquired for Jewar Airport to Yamuna Authority. In total, 1,334 hectares of land has been transferred in the first phase. This chapter is closed. The first parcel was transferred on August 6, 2019. More than Rs 3,000 crore has been transferred to land owners in seven months," District Collector Brajesh Narain Singh said.

He said there has been no complaint during the acquisition so far except for Monday's incident "when some disgruntled elements who are already contesting their case in the high court" and "were not the owners of land to be transferred today resorted to stone pelting".

"An SDM was hurt (in the incident). But then all other villagers reached the spot and land transfer took place peacefully. The locals have backed this project. Law will take its own course in an isolated incident," the district collector added.

According to the officials, the first phase of the airport would cost Rs 4,588 crore and it is expected to be completed by 2023.

The entire project will be spread over 5,000 hectares and is estimated to cost Rs 29,560 crore, they said.

The airport, the third in the national capital region after Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport and Ghaziabad's Hindon airport, is touted to have six to eight runways, the most in India, when fully built, the officials said.

Swiss firm Zurich Airport International AG on November 29 had emerged as the highest bidder to develop the Jewar airport on the outskirts of Delhi, outbidding competitors like Adani Enterprises, DIAL and Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holding.

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