Hindustan Times (Jammu)

Locals irked over rehab plan, push for better compensati­on

- Dar Ovais ovais.mushtaq@hindustant­imes.com :

Amid the ongoing controvers­y surroundin­g the proposed expansion of Gaggal Airport, Kangra administra­tion has commenced a series of public hearings in the villages that will be affected.

During these hearings, locals have voiced their concerns about the government’s expansion plans for the airport expansion. The hearings commenced on Monday and will continue for a few days. The locals, who had earlier opposed the proposed expansion of the airport, continued to raise their concerns about the government’s resettleme­nt and rehabilita­tion plan, which they deem as unfair.

Residents have expressed apprehensi­ons as they say that the proposed expansion would displace hundreds of families.At least 1,500 households in 14 villages would be affected by the proposed expansion.

On Monday, public hearings took place at Sanaura and Sahoura villages, followed by Jhikli Ichii on Tuesday. Residents voiced their dissatisfa­ction, highlighti­ng that there was no clarity regarding the government’s rehabilita­tion plan for families and businesses.

The hearings come after the

Supreme Court on January 22 put in abeyance a Himachal high court order that stayed the Gaggal airport expansion project in Kangra district. On January 9, the high court had stayed the Gaggal airport expansion project following a civil writ petition by members of the Gaggal Airport Expansion Affected Society Welfare Committee.

Ichhi panchayat chief

Kushum Lata said that the locals were concerned about the losses they would face by the proposed expansion of the airport. “We gave the officials in writing that we oppose the expansion. We are not satisfied by the proposed compensati­on of six marlas to each family,” she said.

Gaggal panchayat chief Renu Pathania said that they would ask the officials concerned for clarity on the definition of family. “We will ask them clarity about the proposed rehabilita­tion plan and definition of family,” she said.

Kangra additional district magistrate Harish Gajju said, “These are rehabilita­tion and resettleme­nt related hearings being conducted at village level. We are also ensuring the authentici­ty of the list of families, who will be affected by the expansion, that has been prepared. Based on these hearings, we will prepare a report and submit it to the state government.”

 ?? HT ?? Public hearing underway at Jhikli Ichii in Kangra on Tuesday.
HT Public hearing underway at Jhikli Ichii in Kangra on Tuesday.

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