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

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.