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Large tracts of tea plantation cleared for a greenfield airport

She had also asked him to state the timeline for completion of the project, and if it had been sanctioned.

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Guwahati: Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Sushmita Dev has alleged that the Assam government cleared large tracts of tea plantations on the pretext of the construction of an imaginary greenfield airport in the Cachar district in Southern Assam.

The leader from Assam cited a letter from the Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia that stated that the ministry had not received any proposal for a greenfield airport in the district.

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Dev had written to Scindia on May 24, asking whether the civil aviation ministry had sanctioned any proposal to construct an international airport in Cachar.

She had also asked him to state the timeline for completion of the project, and if it had been sanctioned.

“Imagine ripping through the tea plantation and evicting those helpless workers in Dolu with 200 excavators,” Dev wrote on Twitter.

Notably, in response to a Right to Information query, the civil aviation ministry had said on May 31, that it had not received any proposal for a greenfield airport in the city. The RTI application had been filed by a Cachar resident named Rahul Roy.

On May 12, Cachar district authorities started the process to acquire over 5,733 acres of land for the construction of the airport.

Authorities uprooted about 30 lakh tea bushes for the purpose, according to local media reports.

Assam state Cabinet had decided to provide Rs 1 lakh each to 1,263 families of tea garden workers “as a goodwill gesture for their cooperation in the development of the greenfield airport at Silchar”.

To protest against the action of the authorities, the Doloo Tea Estate Save Coordination Committee called for a protest on June 15.

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