Dehradun: The Uttarakhand authorities have sent a proposal to the National Wildlife Board seeking clearance for transferring 243 acres of forest land to the Airports Authority of India for the expansion of Jolly Grant Airport here, according to an official. “The proposal for transferring 243 acres of forest land to the AAI for the expansion of the airport, including its runway, has been sent to the National Wildlife Board for its clearance," Additional Chief Conservator of Forests DJK Sharma said on Friday.
The Forest Department proposal may come up for the consideration of the National Wildlife Board at its meeting scheduled for October 5, he said. The expansion of the airport is necessary considering the strategic importance of Uttarakhand which shares borders with China, he said.
The runway expansion of the airport which is to be taken up in a phased manner as part of the project will make it appropriate for the landing and take-off of all categories of IAF aircraft. The expansion of the airport will entail cutting of nearly 10,000 trees in the Thano range of the Dehradun forest division which may also affect the movement of elephants in the elephant corridors located close to the land, Forest Department sources said.
The area proposed to be given for airport development is within 10-km radius of Rajaji National Park Eco-Sensitive Zone and notified elephant corridors are also located within just three-km radius of it, Sharma said.
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