ITANAGAR, Sep 4: The Apatani Youth Association (AYA) met with Chief Secretary Satya Gopal here on Tuesday, and suggested making the civilian terminal of the advanced landing ground (ALG) in Lower Subansiri HQ Ziro functional at the earliest.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, AYA chief advisor Taku Chatung said the association briefed the CS on the difficulties in acquiring more land for the expansion of the ALG and suggested building the basic civilian terminal building at the site of the dilapidated and unused building of the supply department, which is located within the ALG.
The AYA members also sought construction of a boundary wall and drainage at the northern tarmac area opposite the Old Ziro market for safety and security, besides seeking early operation of civilian aircraft from the ALG.
It also sought introduction of a 20-seater aircraft to make up for the lack of runway in the Ziro ALG.
While the chief secretary was reportedly unhappy with the lack of land for future expansion of the runway and infrastructure, AYA president Habung Tamang informed that the association is making efforts to convince the people of the Ziro valley to spare around two acres (approx 8000 sq mts) of land for the purpose.
“The current land rate in Ziro is Rs 3000 per square metre, but we are trying to convince the people to accept Rs 2300, in accordance with the new land acquisition act. However, it is upon the government to accept the rates for the expansion,” Tamang said, adding that there are local reasons for which the people are reluctant to part with their property near the airfield.
The association claimed that the finance department had rejected the rate the last time, terming it too steep.
Thirty-six acres of land was donated by the locals in the 1950s for development of airfields, without any compensation from the government.
In 2017, the state government had reportedly kept funds of Rs 1.60 crore and Rs 1.50 crore under SADA 2017-’18 for land compensation and construction of the civilian terminal building, respectively, but they lapsed due to non-execution of works.