The re-birth of CSIA

The sprawling slums that greet passengers flying in or out of Mumbai will soon be history. Replacing the tin-roof eyesores next to the airport by 2014 will be an oasis of green on its east and glittering glass towers in the north. According to the Interim Draft Development Plan for the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport area drawn up by the MMRDA, the airport’s east sector comprising the slums of Jarimari, Vijaynagar, Krantinagar, Sandesh Nagar and Safed Pool in Kurla and Kirol, Mohili and Asalpha will be converted into green open spaces as part of extension of the aeronautical area along and below the flight path. If the east is being planned as a green oasis, the north sector which is the Sahar area will be the glitter with luxury hotels that will add an additional 11,750 rooms to the existing 600, besides residential service apartments, leisure and health facilities, tourism facilities, offices, shops and retail, entertainment, a cultural and performing art centre, and a 10,000-capacity international convention centre close to the T2 terminal. The proposed floor space index for this sector is 4. Currently, FSI in the suburbs is 1 going up to a maximum of 2.5. For five-star hotels and hospitals in the city it is 4. The western part — Santa Cruz and Vile Parle — the gateway to the airport, will serve both aeronautical and non-aeronautical purposes. The MMRDA has also proposed construction of a grand landscaped entrance to the airport from the Western Express Highway. The Air Traffic Control tower will be relocated in this area. A new fuel storage facility will also be housed close to the highway. Residential quarters of those working at the airport, including the Central Industrial Security Force, NACIL Colony, Air-India, Indian Airlines etc, will come up at Kalina. The MMRDA estimates the redevelopment project will generate 1.6 lakh new jobs in the area. But the draft plan makes no mention of where the four lakh people living in those slums are to be shifted. It also does not speak of in-situ rehabilitation. “The MMRDA must provide 25 acres in-situ for the rehabilitation of the poor,’’ said Krishna Hegde, local Congress MLA. Parag Alavani, BJP corporator said the land was being acquired merely for commercial exploitation. “Very little is being used for the actual airport operations and the only new road being added is the elevated road. This is gross exploitation of public land for private gains,’’ he said. Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) will create a bigger and better city airport, capable of catering to 40 million passengers annually by 2014-15 The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), has drawn up an Interim Draft Development Plan for the purpose Tuesday was the last date for submission of objections to the draft and there is no decision so far on an extension. “Submissions will be scrutinised and relevant ones will be called for a public hearing,’’ said MMRDA officials Encroachments. MIAL will acquire land currently encroached by slums, only 2% of which will actually be used for aeronautical purposes. Currently the core airport operation uses 59% (1,169.32 acres) of non-encroached land, which will increase to 61% (1,215) acres once encroachments are removed . The Mumbai airport is spread over 1,981.85 acres, of which 147 acres is encroached upon by slums. However the encroached area is disputed as the agreement between the Airports Authority of India and MIAL mentions it as 147 acres while the MMRDA draft puts it at 300 acres . Experts say a socio-economic impact assessment study for the area has not been done, which is essential for a displacement of people on this scale — 80,000 families or 4 lakh people — one of the biggest urban internal displacements in India. Air traffic movement will be increased from 32 per hour in 2008 to 40-53 per hour. The taxiway system now designed for the Boeing 747-400 will be upgraded for A380 aircraft. “Existing runways 09/27 and 14/32 are to be upgraded and resurfaced. The penetrations to the 14/32 runway by the existing Air Traffic Control tower are within the Obstacle Limitation Surface. The ATCT is to be relocated and the runway safety area will be extended,’’ states the plan . More taxiways will be constructed to provide direct access to runways and aprons, minimising the need to back-taxi for take-off or runway-end turnarounds for arrivals. A 4-million sq feet Common User Terminal will be built by 2012-13 to handle 40 million passengers annually . It will have a nine-level multi-level car park with three basement levels . The cargo complex will be expanded to handle one million tonnes of cargo every year. Air catering facilities at Sahar will be relocated to Kalina . As part of the airport’s modernization the MMRDA proposes to upgrade the drainage system, lift the low-lying areas and create vast open spaces by removing the slums to act as sponges in case of heavy rains. It also plans to decongest the airport area enabling faster entry and exit. The number of taxis allowed at the airport is proposed to be reduced, while car park spaces will be increased from 1,734 now to 9,000. Besides, there will be pedestrian walkways to the Metro stations for the first and third phases. The modernization draft has proposed improvements and realignments of the Shraddhanand nullah system, the Marol nullah system and providing an additional drainage channel for the Mithi river. “The additional channels are being finalized along with the Indian Institute of Technology,’’ states the draft plan. The low-lying areas include the area behind Hotel Leela, Ambassador Kitchen, the forecourt of the international terminal, the airport colonies and the plot across the Mithi river at Rafiq Nagar. These are proposed to be raised through land-filling to bring them above the nearest road levels. The only major addition to the road network is the elevated road which is already under construction. An additional exit route is planned through the existing IOCL fuel station to the Western Express Highway. The grand entrance to the CSIA at Vile Parle will have a twolane vehicular underpass for traffic coming from south, west and east Mumbai. This will lead to the six-lane elevated highway.

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