State acquires majority of shares to further develop Andal airport
Kolkata: Taking an opposite stand instead of going for privatisation, the Mamata Banerjee government has bagged highest number of equity shares of Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Andal in West Burdwan opening the avenue of further economic generation and development in the area.
While addressing a benefits distribution programme at Raniganj on Tuesday, Banerjee announced: "The Bengal government is now having 47.43 percent share and it will help the government to take a leading role in carrying out further development with setting up of more industries and development projects."The decision of the Bengal government comes when the Chief Minister had been constantly criticising the BJP-led Central government for its "ill-conceived disinvestment and privatisation policy".
The landmark decision of the state government to take a lead role in further development of the Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport aerotropolis township comes when three airports in the country including in Kerala was handed over to corporate groups.
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said: "Earlier the state government had 26 percent share and now it has almost gone up to nearly 48 percent. The plots can now be easily utilised for industrialisation that will create job opportunities." It is the second airport in south Bengal after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport that was initially set up in PPP mode.
"The land for the airport was acquired before we came to power. But no positive step was taken for implementation of the same. We had renamed the airport after Kazi Narul Islam and properly implemented the project. As per the agreement with people who had given land for the project, our government is providing them with all compensations," Banerjee said.
As many as 5,824 people will be compensated. On Monday, 1,529 of those who had given more than 33 decimal (one-third of an acre) land were provided with the remaining were provided with financial packages. As many as 2,143 people received the compensation in the form of a financial package on Monday while another 2,152 people will be receiving the same shortly.
Standing beside the people residing at the landslide prone Raniganj coal mine area, the Chief Minister has announced providing flats to rehabilitate more than 29,000 families in phases. In phase I 9232 families at Andal, Jamuria and Baraboni blocks will be rehabilitated.
On Monday itself keys of 3,584 flats have been handed over to its beneficiaries. The remaining will get the flats by February 2021.
"More than 3 lakh mandays were created when the project was implemented," Banerjee said adding that no steps to ensure security of people in 30 years time despite knowing the risk the people here need to take everyday and it is her government that took necessary moves in this
Besides ensuring distribution of benefits worth Rs 180 crore among 40,298 people on Monday, she also inaugurated 50 different projects worth Rs 166 crore and laid foundation stones of 58 projects worth Rs 62.52 crores in West Burdwan district.