Pune Airport update

The Maharashtra state government has suggested a new location for the proposed Pune international airport to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The site is located off Pune-Nashik highway and its technical inspections are underway.
Pune divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said, “The location of the airport has been tentatively decided. It is adjacent to the existing special economic zone (SEZ) of Bharat Forge and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. The state government will acquire some of this SEZ land and private land for the airport’s construction. A technical team has visited the site and another from the civil aviation ministry will soon inspect it.”
“We are waiting for the technical report of the civil aviation ministry, whose approval is needed for finalizing the location of the airport,” Deshmukh said.
A senior official said, “Earlier, the state government had suggested Chakan as the airport location, for which land admeasuring around 4,250 to 4,500 acres was required. But the local farmers opposed it as irrigated land was to be acquired for the project. So, the government has suggested a new location off Pune-Nashik highway. We want that the gaothan area of villages and irrigated agricultural land is excluded from acquisition so that there is less public opposition to the project.”
“The new location has 70% of the area of the original location and we will need around 20% more land for the project. The government is conducting negotiations with SEZ officials to get its land for the project. If it is successful in getting the SEZ land, it will require proportionately less private land to be acquired for the project,” he added.
“The AAI has appointed a private agency to prepare the technical feasibility report of this location. This agency may partially or fully approve the new location or may reject it. If the new location is approved by the agency, then the AAI will also approve it. It will then submit a proposal informing us about the total area that needs to be acquired for the project. The land acquisition process will start later,” the official said.

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