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Navi Mumbai Airport: Why is land acquisition that big an issue?

March 24, 2014 12:25 IST

The state-run City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), nodal agency for the Navi Mumbai international airport, will have to start afresh the land acquisition process for 271 hectares under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2014, if the villagers opposing the acquisition fail to come on board. 

A signboard at the proposed site of the Navi Mumbai International AirportThis is necessary as the validity of the notices served in phases under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, to the project affected persons (PAPs) in 2012 would be over in July. 

CIDCO would have to serve new notices for the acquisition of 271 hectares of private land from six of the  17 villages under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2014.

PAPs from these villages are opposed to land acquisition and they have refused to accept the state government’s compensation package announced in November last year.  

According to the provisions of the new act, land acquisition would be possible only after seeking approval from 70 per cent of the PAPs. 

Besides, under the new act, the compensation to PAPs would be four times of the prevailing market rate.

Of the total area of 2,268 hectares proposed for the aeronautical and non-aeronautical works, 1,572 hectares is already in CIDCO’s possession. Of the 2,268 hectares, the core airport area would be 1,160 hectares.  

Despite several rounds of negotiations with villagers, CIDCO is yet to acquire 271 hectares required for the core airport area.

PAPs last week held marathon meeting with the Cidco management reiterating their opposition for land acquisition and the compensation package.   

Cidco on February 5 has floated request for qualification and the bidders will have to submit it till June 18 this year. 

Cidco vice chairman and managing director Sanjay Bhatia told Business Standard ''Our efforts are on to convince the PAPs that the compensation offered by the state government is quite higher than what they will get as per the provisions of new act.  

As per the government package, PAPs will get 22.5 per cent of developed land for every hectare of land acquired. They will be provided one floor space index (FSI) for 12.5 per cent of developed land and 2.5 FSI for another 10 per cent.  

Further, the PAPs would get three times more land to the current residential plot they occupy.'' Bhatia reiterated that government's compensation is at a higher side. However, he clarified that PAPs have an option to go for compensation under the new act.

Bhatia said that Cidco is currently engaged in the joint surveys of the villages and hoped that it will be in a position to acquire 271 hectare by end of July. 

Mahendra Patil, sarpanch of Pargaon, one of the village from where the land acquisition is yet to be done, indicated that the villagers are not in a mood to relent but continue their opposition to the Navi Mumbai international airport. He informed that retired judges PB Sawant and BG Kolse Patil have extended their support to their cause.

Sanjay Jog in Mumbai
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