The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved the diversion of forest land for the ambitious Shree Jagannath International Airport project at Puri, Odisha, one month after site clearance approval.
Although the airport is projected to span approximately 1,164.75 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 5,631 crore, 68.81 acres of forest land have been cleared by the MoEFCC. Of the remainder, the state government owns the remaining 221.89 acres in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur, which are under the jurisdiction of Brahmagiri tehsil.
“In accordance with the district level committee reports, forest clearance has been secured for the airport project. Even though the government land has already been marked off and surrounded by a boundary wall, the notification has started the process of acquiring private land. According to a Puri revenue official, compensation for land losers will be given following benchmark valuation.
In accordance with section 11 (1) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act, 2013, the district administration has made a preliminary announcement regarding the purchase of 68.11 acres in Sandhapur and 153.78 acres in Sipasarubali. By January 3, people are asked to submit any objections they may have. Notably, since there are no habitations on the land parcels, no rehabilitation or resettlement is necessary.
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