The Kolhapur Airport has been operational since 1997, run by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) for 15 years. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) took over the airport from the MIDC on August 31, 2013. As per the Forest Clearance report, the AAI took over 551.03 acres of additional land (acquired earlier by the MIDC), along with 183.32 acres of original land and 16.21 acres of the state government's land for expansion and development of Kolhapur Airport. The land was acquired from multiple villages - Gokul, Shirgaon, Ujalaiwadi, Sarnobatwadi, Tamgaon and Gadmudshingi. However, forestland from Gadmudshingi, spread across 10.93 hectares, was most essential for the airport expansion as the land falls in the basic strip of the runway and proposed parallel taxiway. While 223 hectares of land for the project was already acquired, there was strong opposition to the acquisition of 10.93 hectares of forestland, which slowed down the project work. Under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, the consent of villagers is needed for the diversion of forestland. But the residents of Gadmudshingi village claim that they did not give their approval. However in August 2016, the village of Gadmungshi passed a resolution that they did not have any objection over the land acquisition and submitted it in writing during a meeting with a local MLA, Amal Mahadik. This was after a negotiation between the officials and villagers, who put forward three main demands, including compensation as per the latest market rate. Babasaheb Mali, a resident of Gadmudshingi, said, "It is true that we have decided to pass the resolution for land acquisition. We are waiting for some communication from the district administration regarding our demands. Necessary procedure will be followed by the villagers in the coming days to sort out the pending issue." In 2017, the forest clearance proposal for the diversion of 10.93 hectares of forestland submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change was granted in-principle approval. As per a news report in December 2019, the airport expansion project is still being carried out while the issues related to land are resolved.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Airports Authority of India (AAI), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC)
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Member of Parliament (MP) Dhananjay Mahadik
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Land Acquisition Laws
Forest Rights Act of 2006
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
The conflict centred around the diversion of forestland for the expansion of Kolhapur Airport. In 2017, the residents of Gadmudshingi village, whose consent was needed for diversion of land, submitted a no-objection letter to the officials, approving the diversion of forestland from their village. The project is currently in its advanced stage of construction.