Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pakyong Airport affected request state govt to start rehabilitation process

GANGTOK, 11 Aug: Pakyong Airport Affected Family Committee has requested the state administration to undertake the rehabilitation process earnestly and provide compensation to the 165 families affected by the construction of the Pakyong Greenfield Airport.
Addressing a press meet today, coordinator of the committee, Basant Gurung said, “We would like to request the District Administration to work on the rehabilitation and compensation process which is yet to be done even though the damage assessment work has been completed by the concerned authorities”.
Since the monsoon season is on, living in the damaged houses has become very dangerous for the affected families, he highlighted.
“We are very thankful to the District Collector [East], SDM [Pakyong], Secretaries [Land Revenue, Tourism] and officials of the Buildings Department for completing the assessment process of the 153 [as of now] damaged houses by the ongoing construction of the Airport here in Pakyong, where work has been stopped for the past seven to eight months but living in these damaged houses of which five houses have already collapsed has become very precarious,” the coordinator stated.
The most affected areas are Dickling-Karthok, Bhanu Turning, Pushpanjali area and Danlakha School where houses have suffered major damages with some houses caving in while others have developed major cracks, he added.
Mr Gurung also asked the media to only entertain news items or press releases issued by the members of the committee when reporting in the airport affected issue. Here, he added that there were many anti-social elements involved in the ongoing cause and none of the affected families were against the government. Proposals to file a Public Interest Litigation [PIL] regarding the issue has also been turned down by the families since they would like the government to look into the matter at the earliest and take the necessary steps, he stated.
“Through the Right To Information [RTI] Act we came to know that the Airport Authorities had bought just the land required for the said project whereas it was necessary for them to procure more than 170 meters around the project area because of the construction work which involved drilling and produced major vibrations around the adjoining areas thereby causing the damages to the said houses,” he stated. This, he added, had not been done by the company, thus resulting in damages to the houses.
“This is totally a social cause and there is no politics involved and neither do we want any outside involvement by any organization with political backing. The assessment of the damaged houses has already been completed and we are happy with the value of compensation to be given but now there was a need of priority to be taken up regarding the compensation to be given and the rehabilitation process to be expedited by the district administration as soon as possible”, he further informed.
Earlier, Mr Gurung congratulated the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for his victory in the general elections 2014 and forming the government again.

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