Skip to main content

57,000 "to be evicted" for Jewar airport-aerotropis off Delhi, 20 villages to be uprooted: UK advocacy group

The airport-cum-aerotropis site at Jewar
By Our Representative
The Government of India’s recent “in principle” clearance to the international airport at Jewar, off Delhi, 16 years after the idea was first floated, is one of the several aerotrpolis projects proposed across the world, which have been cited by a top campaign organization as points of concern for massive evictions, affecting environment and livelihood.
The international campaign body, Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM), based in UK, has taken strong exception to the to develop a Greenfield airport to be developed near Delhi, at Jewar, saying, the proposed site of the second international Delhi airport would turn into a full-scale arorotropis, covering 100 square kilometres, leading to the displacement of 57,000 people.
The case of Jewar was first discussed at the International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE) held in Venice on September 28-29, where the main focus was on tourism in order to mark the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Five eviction cases were examined, including the Jewar Airport.
To be rather a large airport, handling 30-50 million commuters per year through a total of four runways, covering an area of 3000 to 10,000 hectares (30-100 km20), the presentation at Venice by Swathi Seshadri said, the eviction issue has been brought to light by “agricultural labour unions and organisations”, but adding, so far no legal action has been taken in the matter.
“This airport will have a significant human impact. In the first phase, nine villages are proposed to be moved, which, according to the chairperson of the development authority in charge of the airport, would require the shifting of 3000 rural homes. The full project, however, would require the displacement of 20 villages”, the presentation said.
“The construction of this airport itself would be a large enough threat, considering the amount of people whose lives will be affected”, the presentation said, adding, “The airport is only one piece in the transformation of the entire region of ‘Greater Noida’ into a hyperurbanised conglomerate – partly an industrial belt, partly an extension of Delhi, and partly an aerotropolis.”
Aerotropolis projects are not new settlements for people. They are a new urban form enabling explosive growth in aviation dependent tourism and trade. They vary in scale and sectoral focus, but a catch-all definition is airport-centric urban development.
Clustered around an existing or new airport, commercial development is integrated with air services. Airport passengers are funnelled through shopping malls, hotels, entertainment complexes and cultural venues.
Manufacturing, assembly, logistics and warehousing facilities are linked with the airport’s cargo operations. A fully-fledged aerotropolis might also include office blocks, residential premises, recreational green space and agriculture. Spatial planning and surface transportation networks support the airport as the central node of the aerotropolis.
The proposed aerotropolis at Jewar, said the presentation at Venice, would mean accelerated acquisition of “vast tracts of land both in the land allotted for the airport and the surrounding land”, even as providing “much easier accessibility to the industrial belt for foreign investors” leading to quicker “pace of industrial development”.
GAAM cites a 2015 report, ‘Airports in India’, prepared by the Equitable Tourism Options (Equations), saying, in all construct 200 new airports have been proposed over the next two decades, when most of India’s established airports operate at a loss.
“Vast amounts of public expenditure on airport infrastructure would benefit only a small wealthy minority, in a country where 22 per cent of the population live below the poverty line”, GAAM insists.
“The Bhogapuram airport project has seen massive protests by farmers”, GAAM says, adding, “Airports in Sikkim and Aranmula have been stalled by community protests. There has also been vigorous opposition to privatization of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai airports. Chennai Airport is thought to have 2,000 acres of land which the private operator can lease for facilities like five-star hotels.”
Along with Jewar, says GAAM, major airports, proposed as aerotrpolis projects across the globe, include the one in Maldives, which has led to destruction of mangroves; in Indonesia, where displacement for New Yogyakarta International Airport (NYIA) in Kulon Progo continues; in South Korea, where the struggle, on Jeju island has been sustained for over two years; and in Barbuda, where in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, bulldozing of land for a new airport began without consulting residents.

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was a 'frustrated' reformer who turned into a conservative

By Bhaskar Sur "If someone says the Manusamhita was written by all wise Manu and the principal scripture of the land and if he asks me to throw it away, I'll say it is nothing short of atrocious audacity." -- Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.