Work on levelling land in the core area of the Navi Mumbai international airport (NMIA) has finally started, almost two decades after a second international airport for Mumbai was proposed. Two decades!!! That’s right, this is exactly how long it took for the previous governments to initiate the work for Navi Mumbai Airport. The Fadnavis government has finally set the ball rolling for the new airport.
Cidco, which will undertake the cutting of 92-odd metre high Ulwe hill and diversion of the eponymous river, has started some basic work even as the crucial stage II forest clearance is awaited from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and a parcel of the tender for hill cutting awaits finalisation.
Cidco senior PRO Mohan Ninawe told (to TOI) : “Machinery has been deployed on the site and work has started, but the hill cutting will start only after the entire tender is finalised. Also, the forest clearance is expected any time soon. Raigad collector Sheetal Ugale has submitted the papers to the MoEF.”
The tender for hill cutting is worth around Rs 2,000 crore. The first two parts of the tender, said to be around Rs 550 crore, was repackaged owing to change in engineering works and design for combining the cutting and diversion of the Ulwe river. This part is currently under tendering process. The other two parts have been finalised.
As regards the forest clearance, the MoEF sought another reply regarding any tribal rights on the 261 hectare of forest patch inside the core area. Ninawe said, “There were no tribals, so there is no issue of tribal rights on the land. The documents have been submitted and the MoEF clearance is expected any time.”
“The MoEF nod will pave the way for the state government to order diversion of the forested land to areas in the Raigad district where afforestation of trees and mangroves will be done. Land has already been identified for afforestation and formalities completed,” Ninawe said.
The Maharashtra government’s step to fast-track the Process of tender filing for the Navi Mumbai Airport, is being appreciated by all. Finally after a long wait of 20 years, the island city will get a new airport and lessen the pressure of air traffic. Mumbai being one of the most populated city and the economic hub of India, a aupporting airport was required big time.
The way new reforms, policies and stalled projects are being fast tracked, we can be sure Maharashtra will be become a role model for the other states in future.
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