Vidhan Sabha Question Hour
Shimla: The Himachal government has in principal decided that agricultural land would not be acquired for setting up any Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and only barren or unfertile land could be used for the purpose, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal stated in the Vidhan Sabha today.
In response to a question by Rakesh Kalia and Surinder Bharadwaj (both Congress) during question hour the chief minister said that the the Infrastructure Development Board (IDB) in July 2006 had decided to set up a SEZ in Una. In Aug 2006 the state chief secretary as chairman of IDB did write a letter to the central government that the state was ready to set up a SEZ at Una, he mentioned.
The company that had come forth with the proposal had four essential components which included an airport and involved 1094 acres of private fertile land. The state government did not take any action on the matter,â€ said Dhumal.
The chief minister said that he did not know what the people Gagret, where the SEZ was proposed, were agitated about. It is probably the same set of people who had stalled the setting up a proposed sugar mill in the area, he added.
Dhumal said that an airport of international standards was needed by the state but it would only come up with the consent of the people because the government was for minimum displacement of people in any given project.
The chief minister assured the house that least number of people would be displaced in construction of an airport in Una. The proposed Una airport would have hanger facilities for maintenance of aircraft and would include landing facilities for 380 seater aircrafts.
Presently there are three airports in the state at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu and there was no proposal to set up new airports at Chamba or Banikhet, he said. The Airport Authority of India had done a survey for a airport at Ner-Dhangu and a techno-economic feasibility study was yet to be finalized. Construction of an airport at Ner-Dhangu would be considered if the site selected was found to technically viable, said Dhumal.