Navi Mumbai Airport update
Exactly a month after the union environment ministry gave a green signal to the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport, another milestone was crossed by the ambitious project on Wednesday. Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) cleared a proposal for environment and CRZ clearance for offsite physical infrastructure required to be developed around the airport site. Cidco, the project’s implementing agency, has approached the authority for ecoclearance to set up roads and other infrastructure to improve connectivity to airport. Apart from road connectivity, the authority plans to set up physical infrastructure that would facilitate connectivity to a proposed metro rail network and other transport modes. The clearance was sought as setting up of the facilities would have affected more than 10 hectares of mangrove land. Besides, the site is also located on the CRZ zone. Following the MCZMA clearance, the proposal will now be forwarded to the union environment ministry in Delhi for final clearance. Officials said the issue was taken up on a priority basis as it was in “public interest”. The authority also accorded clearance to two MMRDA projects planned for decongesting vehicular density in the city. Permission was given to MMRDA to cross the Mahul creek and mangroves near Bhakti Park in Wadala and the adjoining BPT pipeline area while constructing the Anik-Panjrapole Link Road, which is an ongoing infrastructure project aimed at decongesting traffic along the Eastern corridor. Another project for setting up car depots in CRZ areas at Mankhurd and Charkop for the Charkop-Mankhurd metro route, along with its alignment through CRZ-affected areas on the route, was approved too. The MCZMA has asked all project-implementing authorities to ensure that adequate afforestation is carried out to make up for the lost green in all the three projects. It has also asked them to adhere to norms. An MCZMA member said clearance to the two MMRDA projects was a mere formality as these had received an in-principle nod.