Navi Mumbai Airport has finally got a go ahead. Now the project is likely to be awarded by March 31, 2014.

This announcement came after a meeting between the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chauhan. The meeting was called to review key infrastructure projects in the Maharashtra, after which it also gave nod for two other airport projects in the State, Pune and Nagpur.

“The Chief Minister of Maharashtra informed that, after detailed discussions with the Project Affected Persons (PAPs), an agreement had been arrived on a comprehensive and generous package for the land to be acquired. With this, all decks have been cleared to move ahead on the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister office said.

This Airport Project was approved in 2007 by the Civil Aviation Ministry. It also got clearances from many agencies both at the Central and State levels. But acquisition of remaining land was pending. A new airport is required in Mumbai as existing airport is expected to reach full capacity by 2015.

In the context of Mumbai's needs as a business and financial centre, there is a pressing need to develop a new international airport, failing which traffic to Mumbai would suffer delays and would also get diverted elsewhere. The new airport would ensure that air traffic to Mumbai would grow unhindered for many years.

Pune, Nagpur International airports

The meeting also approved two other airports projects in the State. The present Pune Airport belongs to IAF and the civilian airport operates through a civil enclave. “Given the traffic projections at Pune, there is an urgent need to build a new Green Field Airport. After discussing different options, it was decided that a new international airport would be developed for Pune at Khed. The Pune International Airport Project would be lead managed by the Airports Authority of India,” the statement added.

For Nagpur Airport project, it was resolved in the meeting that Centre would move to exchange the necessary land with the State Government so that the work on this can begin immediately.

Elevated Rail Corridor in Mumbai

The other project that was discussed is the Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor Project, which envisages an investment of Rs.20,000 crore to build additional suburban traffic capacity over 60 kms. It was agreed that a fresh traffic study would be conducted taking into account the traffic capacity being created by the new Mumbai Metro line which is partially on the same alignment. The modalities on moving ahead with the project would also be finalised soon after that.

shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 13, 2013)
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