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Rediff.com  » Business » Preparatory work begins for Navi Mumbai airport

Preparatory work begins for Navi Mumbai airport

April 21, 2011 11:41 IST

The state-run City & Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), nodal agency for the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport, has asked the New Delhi-based National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) to prepare a risk assessment and disaster management plan for the project.

It has also appointed Central Water & Power Research, Pune, to design the needed diversion of the Ulwe water body and measures to avoid flooding.

These are two of the total 66 conditions of the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) while giving ecology clearance and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) approval.

A Cidco official, who did not want to be named, said, "We presented the action plan to (MoEF) minister Jairam Ramesh during the meeting here in Mumbai on April 15 for compliance of all conditions. Of the 66 conditions, 32 were laid down during giving environment clearance on November 22 last year and the balance relate to the CRZ clearance.

The defence ministry has already given its approval for the project. Bids for selection of developer will be invited during June-December 2011, financial closure in April next year, commencement work in May and phase-I will be operational in 2014-15."

The total land earmarked for the project is 2,020 hectares, of which 1,333 ha (66 per cent) is in Cidco's possession.

Another 263 ha (13 per cent) of government land is being transferred. The other 424 ha is private land and Cidco is in the process of acquiring it.

As instructed, the Cidco board has approved modifications to the Navi Mumbai Development Plan (NMDP) and invited suggestions and objections for the proposed modifications.

The statutory process of approval in line with the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act would be completed by June.

The official said the high court's order of January 27, 2010, says MoEF clearance is required for cutting of mangroves even if the area is not declared a protected forest.

Accordingly, the process of forest clearance in line with the Forest Conservation Act has been commenced by the state, for sending on to the Centre.

"The minister has assured that his ministry would give forest clearance within two weeks after the Maharashtra forests department submits its proposal," he informed.

Cidco has also appointed Lewis Environmental Services of the USA for review and advice on the development of mangrove areas around the project.

The company team is visiting the airport site from May 22. The regeneration process (of cut mangroves) would be started by Cidco this monsoon under Lewis' supervision and that of the department of life sciences at the University of Mumbai.

Around 161 hectares of mangroves would be affected, but another 678 hectares would be developed around this area, the official informed.

Cidco has also begun preparation of a detailed traffic management plan, improvement of connectivity and mass public transportation through Lee Associates.

The airport is to be made accessible through all major forms of transport - road, metro rail, suburban rail and even a hovercraft service.

On the rehabilitation of affected families, Cidco told Ramesh about 3,000 families from 10 settlements of seven villages would have to be covered.

 

Sanjay Jog in Mumbai
Source: