High Court gives Umroi Airport a shot in the arm

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Sep 12: Any further delay in making the Umroi airport operational will result in legal action against the perpetrators as per a stern warning issued by the Meghalaya High Court.
After a hearing on the issue which was held here on Wednesday, he division bench comprising of Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice SR Sen said, “In case of any such attempt (to prolong), defaulting party will be seriously dealt with.”
It may be noted here that the Meghalaya Government has sanctioned Rs 18.17 crore for the purchase of additional land required for the project resulting in the Court acknowledging the fact that the State authorities have exhibited the commitment by taking various steps which will substantially help in making Umroi airport operational.

“We hope and trust that all the concerned including the contractors will exhibit real sense of belonging in the public interest and do whatever is possible for achieving the object of the project and will not on any pretext make any attempt to prolong,” the court stated.
The report filed on Wednesday revealed that Rs 18, 17, 93,458 has been sanctioned for the purpose of land required for approach funnel of cluster-II and III upon which the bench has directed the State Commissioner of Transport (CT) to disburse the money to the land owners.
It was also made clear to the CT that vide Notification dated August 7, exemption from the purview of the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971 has been granted for purchase of land on behalf of the State Government.
The Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi District had also held a meeting with all the land owners, headmen of the concerned villages and the MLA of Umroi Assembly constituency on September 7.
The rates for direct purchase of land approved by the government were also agreed to by the land owners.
They have also agreed to part with their land required for removal of obstacles at cluster-II and III.
All the land owners have signed an undertaking to handover the land on receipt of full payment.
The bench was also informed that the compensation amount is scheduled to be paid through account payee cheque on Wednesday.
The report further informed that the MTC has also constituted a team of three officers namely M Wankhar, Deputy General Manager (A), SA Sangma, Deputy General Manager (O) and W Dkhar, Cashier for execution of Sale Deeds and arrangement of payment to the land owners as per the list of the land owners provided by the Deputy Commissioner.
The report also revealed that an amount of Rs 22,91,10,000 have also been sanctioned and placed at the disposal of the Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), Shillong to complete the works in consultation with the Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District and Airport Authority of India.
The Advocate General informed that the contractors have been advised to mobilize their resources and they have mobilized the resources which have reached to the site, as such have started the work.
The AG pointed out that completion of a huge amount of earthwork may require some more time although they will work 24x7 and large number of tipper (trucks) have been engaged.
The bench however said that at this stage, it is not inclined to extend the time but the same can be considered if need arises after analyzing the progress report to be filed by the Chief Engineer after every 10 days indicating the volume of work executed on a daily basis.
ASG A Paul present on behalf of the Airport Authority of India informed that requisite data had been collected and final report has been prepared and it may take 10 days time for submission of the report.
She has produced the communication which reveals that that flight calibration of the newly installed ILS at Barapani has been completed. The initial observations indicate coverage restriction of the facility, however, the ILS approach structure and alignment seems satisfactory.
The report as prepared will be sent to ED (ASM) for alignment with the ILS procedure charts and thereafter the ILS chart and the flight calibration report will be sent to DGCA for acceptance.
Thereafter, the facility can be put into service on satisfactory flight trial report from authorized user airline pilots, she said.
On a specific query, she answered that there are no obstacles except for removal of cluster-II and III.
On the other hand, S Dey Advocate stated that the residential houses of the two applicants are being acquired to which they have no objection but they may be given some time to make alternate arrangements.
The Chief Engineer was asked if this would hamper the progress of work to which the Chief Engineer said that this can only be ascertained after he visits the site.
Meanwhile, the bench while directing that the two applications be listed again on Thursday, has asked the Chief Engineer to submit the report based on which, necessary orders will follow.
It has also directed the Airport Authority of India to submit the requisite report on or before the next date of hearing fixed to be held on September 25.


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