VISAKHAPATNAM : Though agitations over setting up of Bhogapuram airport continue, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao Tuesday asserted that government has decided to go ahead with the decision to construct the airport.
Addressing newsmen after a review meet on the airport project with the officials of Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam at Circuit House Tuesday, Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that the government would offer the best package for the farmers of all the seven villages whose lands would be acquired for the airport and also assured that no land will be forcibly acquired. The minister asked the agitators to propose a package which he assured to forward to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
“Revenue officials would begin their survey in a couple of days and the government aims to complete the project in record time. North Andhra, particularly Vizianagaram and Srikakulam would witness phenomenal development after the commissioning of the airport,” the minister added.
Minister Kimidi Mrinalini, Vizianagaram district collector MM Nayak, Visakhapatnam district collector N Yuvaraj and few other officials attended present in the meeting.
Agitators blocked the convoy of minister Mrinalini and Bhogapuram MLA P Narayanaswamy, who were returning from the review meet. The protestors alleged that the government is neglecting the woes of the farmers who have been agitating for many days. They also warned that they wont give up on their lands.
Opposition party members from CPI, CPM and others supporting the agitators gathered outside the Circuit House alleged that the airport would be of no use to the locals either in terms of employment or in any other form of earnings.
YSRC party leader V Suryanarayana Reddy alleged that the government initially announced to build the airport in an area of 15,000 acres, which was reduced to 6,000 and later to 3,000 acres after facing severe protests from the farmers.
“Now the government has announced to set the airport in 5,051 acres, if so, the villages Munjeru, Kancheru, Kemuduvada, Ravada, Ravivalasa, Kongavanipalem and Gudepuvalasa would completely disappear.”