Logistics

Maharashtra seeks more powers to speed up Navi Mumbai project

| | Updated on: Aug 24, 2012
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Move to help fast-track approval process to select airport developers

The Maharashtra Government has sought more powers to speed up the pre-bid process for the Navi Mumbai airport project. It is seeking powers akin to those granted to the steering committee under the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. If permitted, it would allow the State Government to fast-track the approval process of airport development companies, who could then participate in the commercial round of project bids.

A senior Maharashtra Government official said project execution could be simplified this way since a number of decisions could be taken at the local level. “At present, we have to rush to New Delhi for even small matters,” the official said.

“We have learnt our lesson from the top management of the Mumbai’s suburban railway. About 13 years ago, railway officials had to approach Rail Bhavan for getting even small clearances for Mumbai’s rail system. That process stopped with the delegation of powers to the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation,” the official said.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), the project developer, is also reportedly lobbying with the Prime Minister’s Office to speed up the project.

Earlier this month, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Mumbai, the Chairman of CIDCO Pramod Hindurao, who is also a senior member of the Nationalist Congress Party, appraised him of the status of the proposed airport.

Regard the thorny issue of land acquisition, the official said that a breakthrough is expected within a month’s time.

Negotiations are underway with land owners for acquiring 500 hectares of private land.

The airport project is to be developed through a public-private partnership in which CIDCO and the Airports Authority of India will hold 26 per cent equity while the rest would by held by the private developer.

rahul.wadke@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 24, 2012

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