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Bhogapuram Airport and Aerotropolis, India

Villagers’ resistance to loss of farmland and livelihoods for Bhogapuram Aerotropolis resulted in a reduction of the land area allocated to the project, and court victories stalled land acquisition and secured higher compensation for a group of farmers


In March 2015 the Times of India reported that plans for an aerotropolis (airport city) in Bhogapuram in the Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh, had been put on the fast track by the government. Energy, investment and infrastructure secretary Ajay Jain spoke of plans to undertake land acquisition, via the land pooling system, of around 15,000 acres (6,000 hectares) for the project, which would be divided into three sections: 2,000 hectares for the airport, 2,000 hectares for servicing aircraft i.e. an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility and an aviation academy and 2,000 hectares to be given back to the farmers as ‘developed plots’. Engineering consultancy firm RITES had already been appointed to prepare a detailed techno-economic feasibility report.[1] In April 2015 India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, Pusapati Gajapti Raju, said that the Andhra Pradesh government would acquire 6,000 hectares of land for the Bhogapuram Airport project, which would include airfreight facilities.[2]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bhogapuram Airport and Aerotropolis, India
State or province:Andhra Pradesh
Location of conflict:Vizianagaram District
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

An aerotropolis is planned, comprising Bhogapuram Airport, cargo facilities, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility and an aviation academy.[1] Airport development will feature facilities capable of handling Airbus A380 aircraft. Upon completion of phase one terminal handling capacity is expected to be 6.3 million passengers per year, rising to 18 million on completion of phase two. In July 2016, anticipating early completion of land acquisition, the government took an USD97 million loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) to commence the first phase of land acquisition.[2] Previously, in May 2016, the Andhra Pradesh government had decided to guarantee a loan from HUDCO in order to speed up the process of setting up Bhogapuram aerotropolis.[28] A special purpose vehicle: Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Ltd. (BIACL) was created for the project. In April 2017 the total investment was stated at USD351.8 million.[2] BIACL was re-named as Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Ltd. (APADCL). APADCL initiated the bid process for Bhogapuram Airport in November 2018.[26] By February 2019 the estimated total investment had increased to USD593.4 million.[2]

Project area:1,122
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectUSD593,400,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:10/04/2015
End of the conflict:26/11/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Limited (APADCL) from India - SPV for speedy implementation of Bhogapuram Airport
GMR Airports Ltd (GAL) from India - Emerged as highest bidder for Bhogapuram International Airport project in February 2019
GreenCIndia Consulting Pvt Ltd (GCPL) from India - Preparation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) from India - Entered into agreement with Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Ltd. (APADCL), formerly known as Bhogapuram International Airport Company Ltd (BIACL) for development of the airport
RITES Limited from India - Preparation of techno-economic feasibility study for Bhogapuram Airport
Relevant government actors:Andhra Pradesh State Government
Airports Authority of India (AAI)
Civil Aviation Ministry
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Government of India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Bhogapuram Airport Vyathirekha Porata Committee
Land Conflict Watch -
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
it was reported that a farmer had attempted suicide to voice his protest against the airport plans. His death being narrowly averted by other protestors who snatched a match away from his hand [9]
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Potential: Other Health impacts, Malnutrition
Other Health impactslllnesses caused by pollutants emitted by aircraft
Farmer suicide reported[13]
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Application of existing regulations
Farmer suicide reported[13]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The land area required for Bhogapuram Airport and Aerotropolis has been reduced, from 6,000 hectares to 2,039 hectares then further reduced to approximately 1,122 hectares, resulting in fewer people being displaced for the project. Farmers resisting loss of their land and livelihoods for the airport achieved a court ruling stalling land acquisition. A group of 91 small farmers from Kancheru village were successful in their petition demanding compensation equal to that awarded to regular farmers.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act-2013
[click to view]

Environmental Impact Assessment For Development of Greenfield International Airport at Tehsil-Bhogapuram, District – Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, GreenCIndia Consulting Pvt Ltd (GCPL), February 2017
[click to view]

[1] AP plans aerotropolis at Bhogapuram, Times of India, 14 March 2015
[click to view]

[2] Bhogapuram Airport, Centre for Aviation (CAPA)
[click to view]

[3] Bhogapuram Airport project flies into trouble, Times of India, 10 April 2015
[click to view]

[4] 'Need bus stand, not airport', Times of India, 11 April 2015
[click to view]

[5] Say Yes to Land Pooling or Face Acquisition Act: Government to Ryots, Express News Service, 3 May 2015
[click to view]

[6] Andhra govt to expedite work on greenfield intl airport project, Business Standard, 4 May 2015
[click to view]

[7] Government to Acquire Private Land for Bhogapuram Airport, Express News Service, 23 June 2015
[click to view]

[8] NAAI nod for Bhogapuram airport plan, says Minister, The Hindu, 23 June 2015
[click to view]

[9] Farmer attempts suicide over Bhogapuram airport, Times of India, 5 July 2015
[click to view]

[10] 'Government to Go Ahead with New Airport’, Express News Service, 8 July 2015
[click to view]

[11] Andhra farmers submit 862 petitions protesting land acquisition for Bhogapuram airport, The News Minute, 8 September 2015
[click to view]

[12] Build airport on our tombs: villagers, The Hindu, 23 September 2015
[click to view]

[13] Bhogapuram survey begins amid heavy bandobust, The Hindu, 2 October 2015
[click to view]

[14] Land survey sparks tension in Bhogapuram, Times of India, 3 October 2015
[click to view]

[15] Bhogapuram: ryots yet again stop survey bid, The Hindu, 6 November 2015
[click to view]

[16] Don't throw out Bhogapuram Airport farmers: HC to AP, Economic Times, 31 August 2015
[click to view]

[17] Tension at Bhogapuram; four farmers arrested, The Hindu, 9 December 2015
[click to view]

[18] Bhogapuram airport: Left plans to revive stir, The Hindu, 2 February 2016
[click to view]

[19] Cash offer failing to lure farmers, The Hindu, 11 July 2016
[click to view]

[20] Tension mars public hearing: Bhogapuram, The Hans India, 12 January 2017
[click to view]

[21] AP cancels tender process for Bhogapuram airport project, Hindu Business Line, 21 January 2018
[click to view]

[22] Bhogapuram airport: New request for proposal likely by month-end, Hindu Business Line, 13 March 2018
[click to view]

[23] Bhogapuram airport: HC tells govt to pay Rs 28L per acre to farmers, New Indian Express, 4 November 2018
[click to view]

[24] Hyderabad Court Orders Equal Compensation to All Farmers Affected by Bhogapuram Airport, Land Conflict Watch, 26 November 2018
[click to view]

[25] Bhogapuram greenfield airport will be ready in three years, says Chandrababu Naidu, New Indian Express, 15 February 2019
[click to view]

[26] GMR Airports as highest bidder for greenfield airport in Andhra Pradesh, Economic Times, 26 February 2019
[click to view]

[27] Naidu To Show ‘Bhogapuram Cinema’ to AP People!,, 12 February 2019
[click to view]

[28] Three airports set to take wing, The Hindu, 11 May 2016
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Bhogapuram Farmers Protest Against Land Aquisition For Airport, NTV Telugu, 26 June 2015
[click to view]

Localites Intensifies Protest Against Greenfied Airport Notification, TV5 News, 16 September 2015
[click to view]

People of Bhogapuram Village Protest against Land Pooling – Vizianagaram, ExpressTV Telugu, 21 April 2015
[click to view]

Bhogapuram Villagers oppose to survey team, Sakshi TV, 4 July 2015
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3710
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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