Dhaka and Munshiganj district administration started the process of acquiring 25,000 acres of land of Arrial Beel, a wetland, to build the Bangabandhu International Airport.
Around 10,895 acres of the wetland is in Sreenagar upazila of Munshiganj, 7,017 acres in Nababganj and 7,188 acres in Dohar upazilas of Dhaka.
The move has triggered resentment among some locals who apprehend that they would be evicted while others are welcoming it believing the airport would create jobs and develop the area.
Some have even resorted to demonstrations at the three upazilas for the last few days. They threatened to obstruct the Dhaka-Mawa Highway Monday demanding the airport site be moved elsewhere.
Sources said influential people of the area who have been getting benefits from the wetland are trying to mobilise people against the construction of the airport.
Baroikhali Union Parishad Chairman Mohammad Iqbal Hossain said people of his area will lose more than they will gain from this project.
However, Sreenagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdul Latif Mollah told The Daily Star that the government would give proper compensation to those affected.
Local Awami League lawmaker Sukumar Ranjan Ghos said the government would have to ensure people of fair price for their land. He said the airport would bring revolutionary changes to the area.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Affairs approved the land acquisition on December 20.
Land Acquisition Office of Munshiganj Abdul Latif Khan told The Daily Star that the process is going on in full swing and an acquisition feasibility study would be conducted soon. He said notices to acquire land would be issued in three phases.