News Drum

The Meghalaya High Court has directed the state government to identify few pockets of land for construction of a greenfield airport as the Shillong airport cannot be extended to accommodate landing of bigger aircraft.

A High Court division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said this while a PIL on the matter on Tuesday.

"The state, in consultation with AAI or even the officials stationed at the Umroi airport, should make an attempt to identify a few pockets of land and, thereupon, AAI may be invited to give a preliminary opinion as to whether any of such pockets would be feasible for a greenfield airport project," the bench said in an order.

The bench said that once a land pocket have been identified as feasible then acquisition exercise be taken up, adding that the exercise has to also be done discreetly to avoid middlemen jacking up the land prices.

The court, however, made it clear that it will not interfere or impose its will if both the state and the union governments are reluctant to set up a new airport but stated that a new airport close to Shillong may give a fillip to the state and its development initiatives.

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