Defence Ministry refuses to give land for Shillong airport

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Shillong, Feb 15 (PTI) The Defence Ministry hasrejected a request to part with a few acres of land forupgradation of the airport near Shillong, but Meghalayagovernment today said it would not affect its expansion plans.

The Airport Authority of India had proposed to set upthe cargo facility in the 35 acre of defence land located infront of the Umroi Airport, about 30 km from here, but thedefence ministry has refused to part with the land, officialsources said.

�I have received a letter from the Union Minister forDefence A K Antony citing his department�s inability to partwith the land,� Vincent Pala, MP from Shillong, said.

However, State Transport Minister A T Mondal toldtoday PTI that it would not affect the expansion plans.

�The proposed expansion of the runway does not fallon defence land. Other facilities can be adjusted on the landacquired from locals as they are willing to give their plots,�Mondal said.

Officials said the central government had providedover Rs 20 crore during 2007-08 and Rs 30 crore in 2009-10 foracquisition of land for the airport.

Umroi at present has an airport in 216 acres of landhaving 6000 ft runway for landing and take-off of ATR aircraftonly but with expansion plans on the anvil the AirportAuthority of India has sought for another 200 acres of land tofacilitate daily Boeing service.

The runway will be extended to about 8,000 feet,while plans are afoot to facilitate refuelling stations at theairport. The airport ramp will have provisions for parking oftwo airbuses.

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