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Bihta Airport Construction Delayed Until Post-Monsoon Due to Land Acquisition Issues

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna: The construction of Bihta airport will commence only after the monsoon season, as the payment for land acquisition is expected to take two to three more months. The land acquisition process is currently stalled pending the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) report. Consequently, the additional eight acres of land requested by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has not been handed over, delaying the start of construction.

The state government has assigned an agency to prepare the SIA report, which will be completed in the next two to three months. Once the report is finalized, the compensation rates for the land to be acquired will be determined. The SIA will evaluate both the socio-economic benefits of the project and the potential socio-economic losses due to land acquisition.

The proposal for Bihta airport’s construction was approved by the Central and State Governments in the 2017-18 financial year. The state government has already allocated 108 acres to the AAI for building a civil enclave near the Bihta Air Force Base Station.

For the expansion of Bihta Airport’s runway, an additional 191 acres are required. The existing Air Force Base Station runway, at 2500 meters, can only accommodate small and medium-sized aircraft. To allow larger jumbo jets and cargo aircraft to land, the runway needs to be extended by 1500 meters, making it a total of 4000 meters. This extension will also enable the airport to function as an international hub in the future.

With the initial 108 acres, the AAI’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) outlines the construction of a terminal building with an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers. However, there is insufficient land for passenger vehicle parking. To address this, the AAI requested an additional eight acres from Vishambarpur village. The state government approved this request last year, and the land acquisition process began in January-February this year. Initially, it was anticipated that the land would be handed over by June, but it will now take an additional three to four months.

The author is a Patna based journalist

 

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