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Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport MIHAN Project, MH, India


Description:

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, also known as Sonegaon Airport, is the airport located in Nagpur, Maharashtra. It handles over a million passengers, 14,500 aircraft movements and handles 9,000 tons of cargo per year. Looking at the increasing passenger and economic prospect of the region, an expansion plan on a total area of about 1,295 hectares was proposed [1] in 2005 by the Government of Maharashtra. It is part of Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN), as a major international passenger and cargo hub.

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has been developed along with the airport.

The Project is implemented by Mihan India Ltd (MIL), a newly formed joint venture entity of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MDAC). Under MIHAN, MADC has a plan to acquire about of 4,354 hectares of land. Of the total about 1,278 hectares are proposed for the airport and 2,086 for an SEZ. The idea is to create a new twin city along with Nagpur like other twin cities in India. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,581 crore [1]. The project is financed by Indian banks with a total loan amount of Rs7bn, and an investment from the state government and the Airports Authority of India. [4] A total of 14 villages were acquired for the project affecting nearly 50,000 people [2]. The area is rich and prosperous belt famous for its oranges production. Most of the land is irrigated and people in the villages grow wheat, soyabean and cotton and also cultivate green vegetables for the urban market [1]. The Union Cabinet had approved the multimodal international air cargo hub, but thousands of farmers in the area against this project. Villagers alleged that the land for the proposed airport has been forcefully acquired and boundary wall has been erected cutting the areas from the rest of the villages.

Although, MIHAN and MIL declared in 2008 that farmers would be suitably rehabilitated with infrastructure and facilities in the neighboring villages, the promises had not been fulfilled [3].

The people of villages made representations to the various Maharashtra governments’ departments. As their demands are not heard, they launched peaceful protests, including hunger strikes. They also adopted a unique form of protest: in 2007 all adult male shaved their heads and later even about 90 women also shaved their head. This is an extraordinary move signifying the distress of widowhood in a traditional Hindu family [1].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport MIHAN Project, MH, India
Country:India
State or province:Maharashtra
Location of conflict:Village: Shivangaon, Sonegaon; Nagpur
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
Urban development conflicts
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Sonegaon Airport handles over a million passengers, 14,500 aircraft movements and handles 9,000 tons of cargo per year. Looking at the increasing passenger and economic prospect of the region, an expansion plan on a total area of about 1,295 hectares was proposed [1]. It is part of Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN). A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has been developed along with the airport. The project is being executed by Mihan India Ltd (MIL), a joint venture of Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MDAC) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) [1, 4]

Project area:4,354
Level of Investment:$ 115,630,285.56 (Rs7billion)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:50,000-60,000
Start of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Mihan India Ltd (MIHAN) from India - Executor
Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) from India - Joint Venture, Executor
Airports Authority of India (AAI) from India
Kirloskar Consultants Limited from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Nagarjuna Construction Limited (NCC) from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
SPAN Consultants from Netherlands - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
PBA Sadbhav Joint Venture, from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Consulting Engineers Group Ltd. - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Afcons Infrastructure Limited from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
PBA Infrastructure from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Mott MacDonald from India
Jyoti Structures Limited from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Larsen & Toubro (ECC Division) (L&T) from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Limited from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Prasad Associates from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Yeses Infrastructure from India - Lead Contractors, Designers, Architects and Engineers
Relevant government actors:Government of Maharashtra
Government of India
Indian Army
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Local Villagers
Transnational Institute (http://www.tni.org/)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Strikes
Hunger strikes and self immolation
They adopted a unique form of protest, in 2007 all adult male shaved their heads. Then about 90 women also shaved their head. (According to the report by Praful Bidwai in http://www.tni.org/article/case-against-nagpur-airport-project) This is an extraordinary move signifying the distress of widowhood in a traditional Hindu family [1].

In January 2008, displaced farmers gathered in large numbers along with their cattle, demanding rehabilitation. They protested along with their cattle because cattle are their only source of livelihood (Source: http://www.andhranews.net/India/2008/January/11-Displaced-Nagpur-farmers-29335.asp#ixzz3BTsYXftD)

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Land demarcation
Migration/displacement
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:Nagpur is a small city comparative to other Indian cities. It is estimated that Nagpur’s traffic is about half the level of Guwahati, Goa or Jaipur. So it is quite irrational to increase the Airport’s passenger and cargo handling capacity. It is also speculated that the airport will not be a profitable project. The people are questioning the government’s motive in putting stress on such an irrational project. They are determined to resist any expansion plan and even plan to commit suicide if the project is not stopped [1].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:According to villagers, MIHAN started construction even the environmental clearance was pending. The company started land acquisition process without any necessary clearances from the government [1].
The project will eliminate several villages and render their people landless. They are depended on agricultural and cattle products. There is not proper rehabilitation or compensation package offered. Some people of the affected villages are willing to sell their land, but at market value, so that they can find alternative plots to earn a livelihood. The government offered very small amount below the present market for the willing farmers [1].

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

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

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
http://indiacode.nic.in/acts-in-pdf/302013.pdf

Nagpur cargo hub plan drives villagers desparate
http://indiatogether.org/2-economy

[2] Nagpur farmers protest air cargo hub
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/nagpur-farmers-protest-air-cargo-hub/9629-3-1.html

[3] Displaced Nagpur farmers protest against Maharashtra Government
http://www.andhranews.net/India/2008/January/11-Displaced-Nagpur-farmers-29335.asp

[4] Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport MIHAN Project, Nagpur, India
http://www.airport-technology.com/projects/babasaheb-ambedkar/

[5] Pune, Nagpur airport projects stuck over land acquisition
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/pune-nagpur-airport-projects-stuck-over-land-acquisition-111052200034_1.html

[1] Case Against Nagpur Airport Project
http://www.tni.org/article/case-against-nagpur-airport-project

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

PMO clears 3 airports in Maharashtra at Navi Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdfi4zUh5s8

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019

Images

 

A farmer who committed suicide after his land was acquired. Photo shows his wife and daughter

Source : http://indiatogether.org/2-economy