Silchar, Jan 24: Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, in his recent visit to Silchar, had said that Silchar will get a new airport at the Dolu tea garden and the State Cabinet would approve the decision in the next 2-3 weeks.
In line with the setting up of the new airport which is the demand by the people here, Sarma maintained that the government shall see that in obtaining the land, no one loses their livelihood.
However, an objection was raised against this move by the government on the new airport at Dolu as protesters including tea tribe bodies and a section of local leaders claimed that the construction work for the airport would hamper the jobs of many workers of the tea garden.
Meanwhile, echoing the Chief Minister, Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy, made it clear that the State government has thoroughly analysed the prospects for the proposed new Greenfield airport to be set up at the Dolu tea garden which would be an international standard airport here.
"55 per cent of the area of the tea garden is lying unutilised. Around 870 acres of land of the tea estate would be used for the construction of the airport. The tea bushes falling in the area are at least 80 years old and steps would be taken by the tea experts to relocate and plant the bushes which are still worth productivity to other parts of the estate." the Silchar MP told media persons.
While mentioning official records Roy said that the Dolu Tea Garden has 1,800 workers, and 1,200 of them are permanent while the remaining workers are engaged on a casual basis. "The Government will ensure that no labourer is deprived of livelihood. Those raising voices of protest are largely ignorant of the ground realities," Dr Roy added.
Commenting on the present airport at Kumbhirgram, Dr Roy said that this was constructed for defence reasons in the region. "For domestic civil aviation purposes, the existing airport is comparatively smaller in space to accommodate additional flights. Silchar is a strategically as well as commercially important destination in the state and also across North East. Hence a Greenfield airport with facilities for more flights (international flights) is the need of the hour for Barak Valley and adjoining areas and the Government has taken a decisive move in this regard," he maintained.