No Proposal For Setting Up New Airport In Cachar: Jyotiraditya Scindia

New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said that his ministry had not received any proposal for setting up any airport in the Doloo tea garden area of Assam’s Cachar district.

This was revealed via a letter that Scindia wrote to Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, who had earlier sought clarification from Scindia about sanctioning an international airport in the Cachar district.

Earlier in an RTI reply, the Civil Aviation Ministry had also stated the same.

The ongoing debate of the airport project to set up in Doloo Tea Estate was quite controversial in the last month when the Assam government approached the proprietor of the tea garden in order to acquire 1,500 acres of land for setting up an airport.

Later, on May 12th, the protest took place in the Lalbagh division of the Doloo Tea Estate when the district administration in order to clear the tea garden land for the airport construction, brought bulldozers.

At least 100 tea garden workers then came to the site and objected by chanting slogans against the destruction caused by the district administration in the tea estate.

The state cabinet though had recently ordered of compensation about 1 lakh each to 1,263 workers of the tea estate as a means of a goodwill gesture by the government.

Replying to a letter from Sushmita Dev, the aviation minister said that the central government has implemented a policy back in 2008 that lays down the principle, that if an airport developer or the respective state government plans to construct an airport then a proposal needs to be sent to the aviation ministry.

It is to be noted that, Doloo Tea Estate is an area of 9,965 bigha land. 19,00 workers are said to be working there. If the proposed project is executed, then about 3 million tea plants, across 21 sections of the tea estate would be destroyed.

The workers of the tea estate had been protesting very hard for the accession matter which they feel worried that their livelihoods will be affected if the new airport project is constructed.

They have been demanding that the project is done or shifted to some other location as the tea estate is their only means of livelihood which otherwise may cause a disturbance if the said new airport project is actually carried out.

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