Protests Hinder Expansion Of Kangra – Dharamshala Airport

Dharamshala: Residents of villages in the vicinity of  Kangra airport at Gaggal held a demonstration on the highway protesting against the planned expansion of the airport. The crowd that comprised of children, women and men were raising  slogans “Let us be one, stop the airport expansion.”

Vijay Sharma, leading the Sangarsh Samiti of those protesting, Devendra Kohli, pradhan of the traders in the region and Vijay Kumar, president of Ichchi panchayat say that if the government has to expand the airport then it should be kept upto Manjhi Khad otherwise thousands of families would be uprooted and many families in the area would landless. On Wednesday too , nearby villagers gathered near the airport entrance gate to protest against the airport expansion beyond Gaggal market.

It may be added here that according to the recent survey conducted by the administration, it was proposed to expand the airport to 3010 meters based on the report of the Airport Authority of India. In such a situation, some areas up to old Matour may come under the area of expansion . The length of the runway of Kangra Airport stripe will now be increased to 3010 meters from its present length of 1920 meters.

Kangra airport

Land will be acquired on both sides of airport, towards the Shahpur and Kangra on the Pathankot-Mandi highway. The land for the expansion of Kangra Airport has been surveyed on the basis of the format prepared by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Along with Kangra airport expansion, other modern facilities are also planned to be developed here. So it require more land, and its detailed report will be sent to the state government.

DC Kangra Rakesh Prajapati said that the Airport Authority of India was written for the Dharamshala’s Gaggal airport expansion. The proposed run-way length is around 3010 meters. More facilities have also been proposed around the airport. The authority has also drafted for this. Negotiation committee notification has been done by the government. The draft will be sent to the government for advance action.

He further added that larger planes will land here after airport expansion, and air fare will be reduced considerably for Dharamshala airport. At the same time, more and more domestic and foreign tourists will be able to visit Kangra Valley. “The runway will be 3010 meters as per the expansion draft prepared by the Airport Authority of India for Gaggal Airport Dharamshala. earlier its expansion was proposal for 2450 meters long runway. Now according to 3010 meters runway proposal it could become the international airstrip with landing facility of bigger planes here.

Kishore Sharma, Director, Gagal Airport informed that In the proposed expansion of Gagal Airport, the airport will be made the first terminal based airport in Himachal. A service block will be built at the airport itself, in which planes can be repaired in the event of its failure. There will also be a provision to raise quarters for the employees in this airport.

According to the information, the proposed master plan of Gagal Airport has been released. Under this plan, 396.05 acres of land will be further acquired. A total of 552 acres of land will be used for the airport.

A 3010 meters by 45 meters of runway has been proposed, while 6000 square meters of land has been laid for the terminal building. The newly proposed airport will include a fire control center, technical block, hangar and commercial area.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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