Nagpur: The land swapping agreement signed between Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and Indian Air Force (IAF) over one and half years ago continues to be in limbo. The IAF has still not given the land as agreed upon despite State Cabinet approval. The imbroglio has hit the IAF’s Gajaraj project expansion hard.
The land swapping deal was signed between MADC and IAF in 2015. Subsequently, a Government Resolution (GR) specifying the modalities was issued sometime back. The issuance of GR completed the formalities for exchange of land that aimed at paving the way for expanding the Mihan project. According to the deal, MADC was to hand over 400 hectares land to IAF within a month and also build the necessary infrastructure free of cost. In turn, MADC was to 278 hectares from IAF. However, the land swapping has still not been completed, it is learnt.
The muddle has left Mihan projects as well as IAF expansion plan in a quandary. As a result, IAF had started mulling Hyderabad, Agra and other cities for its new projects. Some projects have already been started in the past two years. When Mihan project was envisaged in 1998, the 278 hectares land close to the airport in the possession of IAF, was taken into account. It was planned to set up the international cargo hub on this land due to its proximity to runway and airport. To compensate the IAF, MADC was supposed to give it 400 hectares a little distance away. The swap remained entangled in red tape for more than 15 years.
Two airstrips have been proposed to be built during the expansion of Nagpur Airport. For this project, the MADC needs IAF land. The second strip is to be used by the IAF. The Force is planning its projects accordingly. But the recent time has witnessed land allotment only to different industries, colleges etc in Mihan’s SEZ and Non-SEZ other than the IAF.