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Min­is­ter of State, Min­istry of Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, in­formed Lok Sabha that the Air­ports Author­ity of In­dia (AAI) owns around 55,800 acres of land across the coun­try out of which 798 acres has been en­croached. The use of land un­der AAI is re­stricted to dis­charge its func­tions re­lated to air­ports; but the Na­tional Aviation Pol­icy 2016 en­vis­ages to un­lock the po­ten­tial of land by lib­er­al­is­ing the end-use re­stric­tions for ex­ist­ing and fu­ture air­ports, he said. The ma­jor­ity of the land area un­der en­croach­ment is around Mum­bai and Juhu air­ports, which are in­hab­ited by slum dwellers. The land un­der en­croach­ment here is 358.15 acres. Other ma­jor en­croach­ments are 127.37 acres in Bhopal and 119.82 acres in Hy­der­abad. The Mum­bai In­ter­na­tional Airport Ltd has en­tered into an agree­ment with the Govern­ment of Ma­ha­rash­tra in or­der to re­move the en­croach­ment from airport land in co­or­di­na­tion with AAI. In the case of Bhopal airport, Mad­hya Pradesh govern­ment has agreed to ex­change 96 acres of land with AA and pro­vide an al­ter­nate site for the re­main­ing land area. “The process of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of il­le­gal oc­cu­pants is a sub­ject mat­ter of con­cerned state govern­ments and the role of AAI and other pri­vate op­er­a­tors is lim­ited to as­sis­tance and per­sua­sion. Nonethe­less, AAI has un­der­taken all ef­forts in an active man­ner to co­or­di­nate with the con­cerned state govern­ments to re­move such en­croach­ments,” Sinha said.

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