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Regional

Gaggal Airport Expansion: Villages Demand Fair Compensation

ARVIND SHARMA | February 29, 2024 08:39 AM

DHARAMSALA: Business and community leaders of Gaggal Bazar staged a protest march in Gaggal on Tuesday and observed a bandh in protest against the airport expansion in Gaggal Bazaar. Zilla Parishad Chairman Ramesh Brar, Zilla Parishad member Kulbash Chaudhary, Panchayat representatives of the affected Panchayats and people gathered in Gaggal Bazaar.Gaggal Panchayat pradhan Renu Pathania said that the way the district administration has presented the R&R report, that report will have to be corrected.

People should not beg for 6 marla land and Rs 1.5 lakh like Indra Awas Yojana, every adult member of the family should get 10 marla land and four times compensation. Gaggal Vyapar Mandal President Devendra Kohli has sent a memorandum in this regard to Deputy Commissioner Kangra Hemraj Bairwa and Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and Tourism Minister.

The expansion of Gaggal Airport in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, has ignited controversy, with village representatives demanding four-fold compensation compared to market value for land acquisition. The expansion, affecting approximately 1, 500 households across 14 villages, has faced opposition from the local populace, advocating for the highest compensation factor.

A meeting at the deputy commissioner’s office in Dharamshala, attended by village panchayat representatives and Kangra district administration officials on Saturday , underscored the community's stance on compensation.

The airport's proposed expansion aims to enhance the runway to accommodate more significant air traffic, which is seen as a step towards developing Kangra as a tourism hub. However, the expansion plan necessitates substantial land acquisition, affecting homes, shops, and others within Gaggal Township and prompting public demonstrations.

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