Yogi Adityanath government, it seems, means business and is quite serious once it comes to the take-off of the ambitious Jewar Airport in Western Uttar Pradesh. Its “Airport Man” Dr. Arun Veer Singh, an IAS officer holding the dual charge of CEO of Yamuna Expressway
Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) and Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL), has been given a one-year extension soon after his retirement. A government order to this effect was issued on Friday, July 12.
The government expects the first phase of Jewar International Airport to become operational by 2023 – the land acquisition process is on; the Uttar Pradesh government has already set aside money for the project.
Industry experts expect things to slowly start looking up for Noida’s real estate market that has been under tremendous stress for about five years now because of an ongoing slowdown after the ground-breaking ceremony for the national capital region’s second airport, which would also be the country’s biggest airport by size.
The Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL), which recently called for e-bids from global investors for the project, said technical bids will be opened on 6 November and financial bids will be opened on 29 November. Investors have time till 1 July to seek any clarification
needed on the project, NIAL said in a Twitter post. Investors' queries will be answered by the end of August.
Sources say that till date some 12 reputed developers have bought bid documents and expressed their interest in developing the Noida International Greenfield Airport and all these developers are well known as experts in this field, but their names have not been revealed due to policy reasons.
Right of First Refusal Rests with the GMR Group
As per the law, GMR or the GM Rao Group has Right of First Refusal (RoFR) on the new airport within 150 kilometres. This is because the GMR Group is currently operating the Delhi airport, which falls within 150 kilometres to the proposed Jewar Airport. The RoFR was to ensure that GMR gets preference in bidding for the Greater Noida airport in case its bid is within 10% of the highest bidder.
Development work is expected to commence in 2020 and the first phase will be completed by 2023. The estimated budget for the Jewar airport project is ₹15,000-20,000 crore. The project requires 5,000 hectares of land. In the first and second phase, the UP government needs to acquire 1441 hectares for the project and out of this, 1,328 hectares of land
belongs to the farmer of the area. This land falls mainly in Dayanatpur, Ranhera, Banwaribans, Kishorpur, Rohi, Parohi and Kureb villages.
Compensation to Farmers
The state government has agreed to give a compensation of Rs. 2460 per metre to the farmer whose land is to be acquired for the airport project. In addition to this, if a farmer is living in a plot of say 100 metres in which construction of the house is on say 30 metres, the farmer is entitled to a compensation of Rs. 700 per metre for the 30-metre land
and also a plot measuring 100 metres in some other place.
Problems before the Government
The notified area for Jewar Airport is owned by approximately 9,000 farmers of various villages. A majority of farmers are said to have agreed in principle, to give their land for the development of the airport. But till now only less than 500 farmers have received compensation for their land from the government.
Dushyant Nagar, Convenor, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, says that 75 to 80 percent farmers are willing to give their land for the airport project but they are running from pillar to post to get their compensation but are not getting money from the government. He says that acquisition process should be completed first and only then financial and technical bids
should be invited for the project.
The Need for the ‘Airport Man’
Dr. Arun Veer Singh has been the CEO of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority for quite some time now. He has, with the passage of time, build a personal rapport with most of Gram Pradhans and Pramukhs of the villages of the area. He is quite
accessible to anyone who comes to his office and this is one reason why he has been given an extension of service. Had the government posted any other officer in his place, the new person would haved certainly needed much time in getting to know the topography and the people of this area.
Jewar Airport means much for U.P. Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one of his last election rallies, before the last General Elections, had promised to the people of the area that Jewar international airport will be a reality in time to come. Modi had said “the country’s biggest airport project” would be completed and all formalities and processes for the same were underway. For sure, now it
is time for Uttar Pradesh government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to go an extra mile to fulfil the promise of the Prime Minister.
(Vivek Avasthi is Senior Editor – Politics with Business Television India – BTVI)