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Ten hurt in Pokhara airport construction dispute


Kaski,18 Dec 18: At least 10 people were injured in a clash ensued between locals and the police at the Chhinedanda-based office of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in Pokhara today.

The locals reached the CAAN office, demanding appropriate compensation for their land which the government is to acquire for the construction of a regional airport in the town. The clash erupted as the police intervened in the locals’ attempts at padlocking the office.

Of the injured, five are locals and five are police personnel, Kaski Police Chief Superintendent of Police Basanta Lama said.  Two injured locals are being treated at the Manipal Hospital and remaining others have already returned home, according to Regional International Airport Construction People’s Concerned Struggle Committee Secretary Bodhraj Karki. Injured security personnel are receiving treatment in the same hospital, it is learnt.

Of late, the government has initiated the process for the acquisition of extra 629 ropanis of land for the construction of much-awaited international airport, but the local landowners have protested the government decision accusing the later of devaluing their property. The government has decided to provide Rs 2.2 million per ropani land while the locals are demanding Rs 1.8 million for per ana.  Sixteen ana make one ropani.

The locals have said that they were determined not to allow the government to construct the airport until they were properly compensated.  The construction of the airport is estimated to cost around Rs 21 billion and the government has already distributed compensation for acquired 3,106 ropanis of land.

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