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Navi Mumbai International Airport likely to get key land approval in 3 weeks

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Navi Mumbai International Airport likely to get key land approval in 3 weeks

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office is taking keen interest in crucial decisions related to the proposed Navi Mumbai International
Airport and a key approval is now expected in less than three weeks, said two people familiar with the development.

The approval is for handing over 250 hectares of land at Sudhagad in Raigad district by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO),
the nodal agency for the development of the proposed airport, in lieu of 108 acres of mangroves that will be taken over for the project.
The Prime Minister's Office has put the proposed project in the new governance programme, Pragati -- Proactive Governance and Timely Implementation.

According to CIDCO officials, it has already received permission for the Vadghar project, meant to rehabilitate people displaced by the airport project.

"Things have been moving quite fast since the Prime Minister's office is now directly connecting with the chief secretary of Maharashtra
with regard to Navi Mumbai International Airport project," CIDCO managing director Sanjay Bhatia told ET. The chief minister has also set
up a war room and this is also helping in better inter-departmental coordination."

Bhatia, who spoke on the sidelines of a conference organised by think tank Mumbai First, declined to comment on the likely timing of the approvals.

Permission for the rehabilitation project was delayed as CIDCO had to obtain approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority
CIDCO is likely to get approvals for the proposed Pushpak Nagar township close to the airport in the next few days, the people said.

The Navi Mumbai airport has been delayed primarily because of issues of land acquisition from villages, which led to skepticism from infrastructure
developers. The government had initially approved setting up the airport in 2007.

It was supposed to be completed by 2015 and is likely to be ready by December 2018. Planned as an alternative to Chhatrapati Shivaji International
Airport located across the Mumbai suburbs of Santa Cruz and Andheri, the Rs 14,573-crore Navi Mumbai airport project is likely to be completed in
four phases. The airport will span an area of 2,867 acres with a terminal building of 5,23,000 square meters and two runways.

Four companies have made initial bids for the airport: GMR, GVK, the Tata Group in a tie up with Ferrovial, and Hiranandani Group in
partnership with Zurich Airports. Bhatia recently said the project should be awarded by December. The delays and uncertainty over land
acquisition led global airport developers such as Fraport to stay away from the project. Fraport owns 10% of the GMR-led Delhi International Airport.

Experts have said the success of the airport depends on allied transportation services and routes, including the 22-km trans-harbour link
connecting the main city and its satellite arm. UPS Madan, commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority,
said recently that given the timely financing, the Rs 11,000 crore link may be completed along with the Navi Mumbai airport.

 

 

 

 

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