Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday directed fast-tracking of major infrastructure projects in Maharashtra, including building of two new airports and expansion of one.
A meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also discussed the Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor Project which envisages investment of Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to build additional suburban traffic capacity over 60 km.
"The meeting discussed key infrastructure projects in Maharashtra which needed to be fast-tracked so that infrastructure in Mumbai and other major cities of the state remain in the forefront of development," a PMO statement said.
The new airports would be built in Navi Mumbai and Pune while the one in Nagpur would be expanded.
"The most significant breakthrough was on the Navi Mumbai International Airport," it said.
The statement said all decks have been cleared to move ahead on this and it is likely that the project will be awarded by March 31, next year.
The current MumbaiAirport is expected to reach full capacity by 2015 and 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, it said. The Navi Mumbai International Airport would ensure that air traffic to Mumbai would grow unhindered for many years.
Image: Design of the Navi Mumbai International Airport.