https://himachalscape.com/spare-balh-mandi-for-international-airport/
The delegation of farmers while in meeting with Chief Minister

Shimla, March 21- Spare ‘Balh’, for intl. airport : Farmers

Spare ‘Balh’, for making an international airport. Read : https://himachalscape.com/spare-balh-mandi-for-international-airport/

Eighty-eight per cent of farmers have given the condition that they will give their land only if fertile land like Balh is provided to them in lue. This was stated by a delegation of farmers of Balh, Mandi, who met Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu in the assembly premises and urged that according to the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Survey of the proposed Balh international airport, the land of this area is very fertile. The proposed airport should be made at an alternative place.

Read Balh airport Socio-Economic study suggests  alternative site : BKSS

A delegation of farmers headed by Premdas Chowdhary, Executive President of Balh Bachao Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, stated that the survey report has also accepted that the airport’s construction on the proposed land will result in a considerable loss of 100% agriculture/vegetable production. Around 83% of the farmers will become unemployed; the report has accepted that the Balh area is considered a mini Punjab in vegetable production, and the airport’s construction will lead to a loss of vegetable production. It will badly affect the economic, social, and mental condition of farmers. The farmers informed that by growing 3 cash crops on their fertile land, 75% earn 2-3 lakhs annually from one bigha, and they care for their families.

Read Former BJP MP extends solidarity with Balh Bachao Sangarash Samiti

The Jairam government was adamant about building its dream airport on fertile land in the previous five years. However, according to the report, they stated that alternate land between Mandi/Hamirpur i.e. at Jahu of Himachal Pradesh has been considered suitable for the project. Adding, which connects three districts, Mandi, Bilaspur and Hamirpur and most of the land there is barren and less fertile. ” Here, 80% of the land is government and 20% land is private, and there will be significantly less displacement of people due to land acquisition than Balh. Therefore the SR Asia team has suggested that based on the technical survey in Jahu, the proposed airport should be shifted, claimed the delegation of farmers.
After a hearing, Chief Minister Sukhu assured the farmers that his government would save the fertile land keeping all the aspects in mind. A media note by the delegation claimed that the CM told them that an alternative site to the proposed airport would be considered according to the social impact report.
The delegation included Prem Chaudhary’s Elaba, Secretary Nandlal, Joginder, Baldev Chaudhary, Devirup, Jaipal, Bhura, Puran, Hariram, Bhavani, Jagdish, Roshan, Ramjidas, Netar etc.

Later the Chief Minister, while replying to a query, stated in the house that Rs 1000 Crore announced to be provided by the 15th Finance Commission was not release the fund so far. He said that the Congress government is active on the issue as the government is working to get the release of the  sanctioned amount from the Government of India. He said that cost of Green Field airport at Mandi have gone up to Rs 8034 Crore and if it would get more delayed then the cost of the project would increase upto Rs 9000 Crore.

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