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Andal Airetropolis, India


Description:

Andal, located in Buwdwan District of West Bengal, is going to be the site of India’s first Airetropolis. This will be a private airport city. The total cost of the project will be about 5 billion dollars and based on 3500 acres of land. The city will be owned by the Singapore’s Changi International Airport, and constructed by Bengal Airetropolis Project Limited.

Notice for the project was served according to Section 4(1) from the Burdwan Collector’s Office. Various newspapers printed the notice between December 11-21, 2008. In the first phase, initiative was taken for the acquisition of 2362.84 acres of land, and the notice called on any person associated with the land to come forward and raise objections. There are claims that the notice wasn’t circulated or published through the Panchayats in the villages. As a result, many people do not know about the notice.

More than 250 share croppers of nearby villages stalled work at the Andal airport project site to protest against the delay in getting compensation. The agitators prevented the officials of Bengal Aerotropolis Limited (BAPL) from entering the site.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Andal Airetropolis, India
Country:India
State or province:West Bengal
Location of conflict:Andal, Burdwan
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Manufacturing activities
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Andal, in West Bengal, is going to be the site of India’s first Airetropolis – a private airport city at a cost of 5 billion dollars and based on 3500 acres of land. The city will be owned by the Singapore’s Changi International Airport, and constructed by Bengal Airetropolis Project Limited. In the first phase, initiative was taken for the acquisition of 2362.84 acres of land.

Project area:1416.4
Level of Investment:5,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Bengal Airetropolis Project Limited
Pragati 47
Pawan Hans Limited
Relevant government actors:Civil Aviation ministry, Government of India, Government of West Bengal, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Adhikar (a local group), Local Villagers, Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Land occupation
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Trinmool Congress Party Communist Party of India (Marxist) Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) Adhikar - Local Group

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Noise pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
New legislation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Local people demand that government should either return their land or pay compensation according to the current market rate.
Also, they ask for five years’ wages to over 2,000 farm laborers who became jobless after the land acquisition.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Share croppers of the acquired land, alleged that though the land owners had received their compensation the share croppers were deprived.
Agitators also claim that there is favoritism in distribution of compensation. The people who are belonging to a particular political party (Trinamool Congress) had received the compensation cheques. While people of other political party have not received the compensation.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Land Acquisition Act of 1894
http://megrevenuedm.gov.in/acts/land-aquisition-act-1894.pdf

*(In new land acquisition Bill, government has issued a document explaining the tenets of the Bill that offers a comprehensive explanation of a law that will change how land is acquired and owners are compensated in India.)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Report on India’s first airport city (Andal Airetropolis) from Adhikar - See more at:
http://sanhati.com/literature/1285/#sthash.O3QwCjU4.dpuf

Character Durgapur Aerocity or Airetropolis-- a report (in Bengali)
http://sanhati.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/andal_airetropolis.pdf

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Andal Airport construction is almost complete. It will start functioning from 2014. (In Bengali)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WuFSjgx1BQ

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014