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PM assures to look into Navi Mumbai airport issue

Source: PTI
September 03, 2010 13:43 IST
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After pleas for an early clearance to the long-pending Navi Mumbai airport project, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he would personally look into the issue to resolve the matter at the earliest.

The assurance was given by the Prime Minister to a Maharashtra Congress delegation led by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and comprising a number of senior leaders including Revenue Minister Narayan Rane.

 "I will personally look into matter. Mumbai is of paramount importance to the country. I appreciate that a new airport is a necessity. Nothing will come in the way of Mumbai's development", Singh told the delegation, according to Chavan.

The Chief Minister told reporters that the delegation impressed upon the Prime Minister that expeditious development of another airport for Mumbai was the need of the hour as restructuring and maximum expansion of the present airport would not be enough.

Chavan said that the Mumbai airport currently handles 26 million passengers annually and the traffic flow was set to increase to 45 million passengers by 2014-15 and 119 million by 2031-32.

Sidestepping questions whether the approach of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was posing as a problem for Maharashtra, he said that he has had three meetings with the Minister and the state was ready to do whatever needed to protect environment while going ahead with the project.

Chavan and Rane dismissed Shiv Sena's allegation that the Congress was pressing for the Navi Mumbai airport as some party leaders have taken land adjacent to the proposed project.

"There is no private land nearby the project", said the Chief Minister. PCC President Manikrao Thakre, state Environment Minister Patangrao Kadam, Mumbai unit chief Kripa Shankar Singh and Maharashtra Congress spokesman Kanhaiyalal Gidwani were part of the delegation.

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