Vijayawada Airport (VGA) in Gannavaram, AP, India

Description

Government of Andhra Pradesh realized the potential of Vijawada to be developed into a major international airport. Feasibility studies found that if the runway, which is 7,500 feet now, is expanded, large aircrafts can land. This will increase the operation of national and international long-distance flights from the airport. Accordingly, State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in 2007 for the expansion of Vijawada Airport at Gannavaram. For the initial expansion about 300 acres of land was proposed to be acquired [1].

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Basic Data
NameVijayawada Airport (VGA) in Gannavaram, AP, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceAndhra Pradesh
SiteVillage Gannavaram
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Ports and airport projects
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsVijayawada Airport is located at the Gannavaram mandal of Andhra Pradesh. The airport is located about 18 Kms, North East from Vijayawada City. The airport has all modern facilities to operate national and international flights [1]. The existing runway measures about 8,000 feet. With the proposed expansion, the runway will be 10,000 feet for accommodating larger aircraft. Airport Authority of India allocated about Rs.170 crore for the project [3].
Project Area (in hectares)201
Level of Investment (in USD)$27,951,331.88 (Rs/-170 Crore)
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2007
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Andhra Pradesh, Airport Authority of India, Directorate General of Civil Aviation
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters‘Committee Against the Expansion of the Airport’
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Strengthening of participation
Development of AlternativesFarmers whose lands are located near Gannavaram airport are not against the land acquisition process. They demand that government should declare the details of compensation and rehabilitation packages. Also, people are not informed about the valuation government is going to fix for the land. Their major demand is the government announces compensation details before acquiring lands [5].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.According to the protesting organization, the airport authorities had already acquired 80 acres of land in 1989. The compensation of the acquired land at that time has not been paid. Beside this the previously acquired land has not been properly utilized. Instead of developing the land, authority is now planning for further acquisition. They are in strong opposition of such additional land acquisition. Beside this the new acquisition of land will close the connectivity to the villages. This will restrict the movements of residents living nearby villages [4].

The market value of proposed acquisition has not been fixed. The protestors raised the question about the valuation of their property, the authorities did not have complete answer but they assure that that market value would be fixed at an appropriate time according to guidelines of the ‘new Land Acquisition Act’. The farmers also under the dilemma that if the land is acquired under old land acquisition how the compensation will be paid under new land acquisition act. They demand that the government should announce the time frame for the compensation and rehabilitation packages and demand all process will be made clear and transparent to the public [5].
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Land Acquisition Act (Government of Andhra Pradesh)
[click to view]

Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013
[click to view]

Links

[1] Gannavaram Airport project hits a roadblock
[click to view]

[2] Gannavaram airport to get boost
[click to view]

[3] Land acquisition for airport expansion to begin in a year
[click to view]

[4] Gannavaram airport expansion opposed
[click to view]

[5] Compensation details sought for airport expansion
[click to view]

Land acquisition for Gannavaram airport expansion turns critical
[click to view]

Gannavaram airport expansion plans to get impetus
[click to view]

Gannavaram airport to get boost
[click to view]

Media Links

Gannavaram dalits protest airport expansion - Tv9 (in Telegu)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update14/10/2014
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