Mandi: Balha Bachao Sangarsh Samiti has decided to stage a protest on 28 November, against the proposed construction of airport at Balh in Mandi district.

Balh Bachao Sangarsh Samiti (BBSS) on Thursday convened a meeting and it was decided that if their demand for shifting of the proposed airport to some other location instead of Balh is not acceded, a protest rally will be held on 28 November from Kansa Chowk till SDM Balh office.

During the meeting, BSSS President Joginder Walia charged that they repeatedly sought appointment of Chief Minister, however their requests have fallen on deaf ears.

“We had even urged to meet the Chief Minister through Deputy Commissioner Mandi, but to no avail,” he said.

Before the proposed protest rally, BBSS has decided to sensitize the people of Balh valley about the damages that the proposed airport could do to the area.  

Criticizing BJP-led state government for imposing sided decision on the farmers, he said that such decision will not be tolerated at all.

“The proposed airport will adversely affect the irrigation system, drinking water, tower lines, places of worship, schools of the area,” he said.

Besides this, the solitary play ground that has around 300 children and youth of two assembly constituencies practicing daily, 2000 houses, lakhs of trees, agricultural industries, business establishments and agricultural machinery will perish, he added.

“There are three rivers that flow across the proposed airport. What will the government do to the said rivers,” he questioned.

Both the central and the state government are not only anti-farmer, but also unilateral decision making governments, he added.

The farmers are ready to respond in the coming Panchyat elections, he said, asking the Congress party to clarify their stand.

He said that there is huge resentment of the people of the area as the fertile land of the people will be acquired for the construction of the proposed international airport having 3150 meter runway.

Questioning the need to construct the airport he said, “The Bhuntar Airport air distance is 30 kms and Shimla Airport and Gaggal airport is around 50 kms from here, are also being upgraded to airport of international level.”

The proposed airport at Nagchala will affect around 2000 families of eight villages Siyaha, Tanva, Jarelu, Kummi, Chattru, Daban and Dungrai that has a population of 10,000 people, he said, adding that the farmers will be rendered landless and will be completely displaced.       

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.