Kolkata: India Government has asked West Bengal for land in regards of the expansion of Bagdogra Airport. State Chief Secretary Moloy De has written to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) seeking compensation for the tea garden owners whose lands can be acquired for the expansion of Bagdogra airport in Siliguri. The existing airport infrastructure is inadequate to handle the rising volume of traffic.
So, AAI had asked for 132 acres of land from the state government for expansion. “The facilities of a modern airport needs to be developed at Bagdogra. Landing of big airbuses is still a problem. The security lounge and the seating arrangements also need revamp. We are in constant talks at the government level for acquiring land. But the AAI should pay the money,” a senior official said adding that cargo flights from the airport can also be a viable option.
The state government has already given 24 acres for facilitating night landing and talks were on with two tea gardens — Gangaram Tea Estate owned by the Duncans and Bagdogra Tea Estate so that the plots could be utilised for the requisite expansion. The expansion could be done on either of the tea garden lands. It may be mentioned that the AAI had announced an investment of Rs 300 crore for meeting the expansion expenditure. However, it wants the land to be bought by the state government and handed over to them in the form of its equity contribution.