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Puri airport receives MoEFCC clearance for 27.85 ha forest land

Monday, 20 Nov 2023
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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has cleared the diversion of 27.85 ha (around 68.81 acres) of forest land (deemed forest) for the development of the Shree Jagannath International Airport project at Puri, Odisha. The new airport, which will come up on around 1,164.75 acres, is estimated to cost around Rs 5,631 crore.

The airport land comprises 221.89 acres of private and the rest of state government land in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur under Brahmagiri tehsil. The private land required for the project includes 153.78 acres in Sipasarubali and 68.11 acres in Sandhapur. The Puri district administration has issued a preliminary notification under Section 11 (1) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, for acquiring land for the airport.

While the government land has already been demarcated and a boundary wall constructed around it, the process has begun to acquire private land with the notification. In September this year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) granted site clearance for the project. The state government is in the process of appointing a consultant to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for grant of ‘in-principle’ approval.

Further, the state will be required to submit its application along with the DPR to secure approval from the steering committee on greenfield airports. The Puri airport was necessitated as it is being developed into a world-class heritage city, and Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) at Bhubaneswar has reached its design capacity limit. BPIA handled 3.62 million passengers in 2022-23.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has handed over 160.35 acres of land at Rasgovindpur to the state government for further development and infrastructure augmentation of the World War-II era airstrip there.

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