2nd airport in city: 'Can't just evict people, he shouldn't do politics over this..., we do not kill farmers like BJP'

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday came down heavily upon Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia who accused her of delaying approval for setting up a second airport in Kolkata. Banerjee reiterated that her government cannot evict people for acquiring land .

"They ( the Centre) need 1000 acres of land for another airport in Kolkata. Can I bulldoze the existing houses? Is it possible? We cannot just evict people. The minister (aviation) shouldn't do politics. I'm not like them who killed farmers," Banerjee said at Kolkata airport before leaving for Lucknow where she will campaign with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The Centre wants to set up a second airport in the city as the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport has reached its capacity.

"It is not our policy to evict or bulldoze people as we are dead against forceful acquisition. We will not allow Singur, Nandigram here," Banerjee thundered.

"We have already done the third runway at Kolkata airport. They (Centre) can't just build airports without finding land. I need to find the land (and) it takes time. If Centre is in a hurry why don't they give us the land. Tell them (the Centre) to provide 1,000 acres of land," she said.

Banerjee asserted that airports are ready at Cooch Behar, Balurghat and Malda but the Centre has not started regional connectivity. "We have already come up with Andal airport," she added.

Banerjee's remarks came a day after Scindia accused the Mamata Banerjee government of not providing land for building second airport in the state.

He also said that he has been asking for a dialogue with the Chief Minister for six months for setting up the second airport but there has been no response from the other side so far.

The state government had earlier submitted the proposal for declaring Andal airport as the second airport of Kolkata but the Centre had rejected it on the ground that it is located at a distance of 190 km from the city.

The Centre had informed the state government that it would not be convenient for passengers to catch another flight at Andal after landing at the existing airport at Dum Dum.

According to the Centre's guidelines, the second airport would have to be established on at least 4,000 acres of land in order to accommodate all modern facilities.

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