Mosque in Kolkata blocks airport …. did someone say Ram Setu ??

via Courtesy: published on June 18, 2008

Kolkata : Development runs deep—but devotion runs deeper.
So an ancient mosque on a tiny patch of 1,200 square feet of land right
next to a runway has forced a redrawing of the entire Rs 2,000-crore
map to upgrade Kolkata airport.

An extra 25,000 square metres has to be acquired, crores have to be
spent on building a detour and several high-rise buildings have to be
compensated because they have to knock off their top floors in line
with the new plan.

The Kolkata airport has two runways: the main runway, 3,627m, that
carries bulk of the air traffic, and a shorter one, 2,399 m, which is
inadequate to service large aircraft, and so needs to be extended by
another 440 m to the north.

this is exactly where the 117-year old Bankra mosque — where on an
average 30 people offer prayers each day under tight security — lies,
less than 100 feet from the north end of the shorter runway, Also, the
walls of the mosque cannot withstand vibrations caused by aircraft
landing or taking off.

“We have tried to negotiate with the masjid committee numerous
times. We have also tried to give them land outside the port and
offered to create a replica of the masjid elsewhere but to no avail,”
says SPS Bakshi, Director (Projects), Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
International Airport. Result: the Airports Authority of India has
decided to extend the runway towards the southern side.

“This means we have to lease out more than 25,000 square metres of
land to the state government for the diversion,” says another official
of he AAI. The AAI will spend Rs 2 crore and the state government will
provide Rs 3 crore. Also, an existing road, running from Kaikhali to
Narayanpur (Rajarhat) will need to be diverted.

Read Full Story – from Indian Express

Kolkata airport: Map redrawn, land to be acquired, high-rises trimmed to save mosque

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