AURANGABAD: The land records department on Tuesday initiated the process of measuring the land required for the proposed expansion of Aurangabad airport.

Once located on the outskirts, the Aurangabad airport has now become part of the city due to rapid urbanization and acquisition of 182 acre of land needed for the proposed expansion may prove to be a stiff challenge for the authorities.

The long-pending expansion involves extending the runway to 12,000 feet from the existing 9,300 feet, building a parallel taxiway, installation of solar panels and facilitating hangar for aircraft, among other infrastructure and facilities.

Shaikh Arif, one of the competent authorities from the land records department, said the desired task of land measurement would be expedited.

“There is no fixed time limit for accomplishing the task, but the same would be carried out as per the laid-down procedure at the earliest,” he said.

The demand for expansion of Aurangabad airport received an official boost when former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had pledged Rs 200 crore for creating the necessary infrastructure, during a special cabinet meeting held in Aurangabad on October 4, 2016.

The official surveys carried out in the past had identified certain residential properties from Chikalthana along with the land owned by farmers as well as Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, CIDCO and MHADA that are likely to come in way of the proposed expansion of Aurangabad airport.

Ashish Garde, ex-president of Chamber of Marathawada Industries and Agriculture, said expansion of the airport was mooted since 2008. “The lack of official attention has been delaying the expansion which is essential considering upcoming Samridhhi Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway, DMIC and Dry-Port projects. The government should facilitate desired flow of funds at the earliest for paying compensation towards land acquisition and other needs,” he said.

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