At least 529 families, mostly tribal, are opposing construction of the Airport at Deoghar, Jharkhand. These families, currently living in Babupur, Bhitiya, Katia, Paharpur and Singhpur Yogidih villages, would be displaced to pave the way for construction of the airport. Altogether, around 13 villages would be affected by the project.
The airport construction has started with tripartite agreement among the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Airport Authority of India and the Government of Jharkhand. Around Rs.350 crores would be invested in the project. The total area of the project would be around 656.79 acres. The government would acquire 437.70 acres raiyati (private) land, 144 acres of government land (including village common lands) and 18 acres of forest land to pave the way for the proposed airport.
After Deoghar district administration started steps for land acquisition, villagers from Katia, Bhitia and Babupur Villages called their respective Gram Sabhas to build consensus over giving their land for the airport. Villagers in the Gram Sabhas decided against giving "even an inch of" land for the airport.
Keeping in view the protest by the affected families, Deoghar district administration would soon initiate a public hearing. Officials from Airport Authority of India would also preside over the hearing to assess the grievances of the affected families.
Sudhir Kumar, land acquisition officer of Deoghar accepts that the villagers are angry over the prospect of displacement. He points out that some of the families do not want to give their land while there are a few families that want compensation in the form of cash for their land.
District administration has planned to shift the residents of Katia, Bhitia and Babupur to Nayadih. The administration had proposed a lump sum package of Rs 6.50 lakh for each displaced family. But a section of villagers want that the compensation package should include the value of their land. Another section of villagers is demanding the land value to be doubled as the market rate of the land has went up after the announcement of the construction of airport in the vicinity.