PM Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting in Delhi to fast-track key infrastructure projects of Maharashtra. It was decided to award the construction of Navi Mumbai International Airport Project by March 31.
The airport project has received clearances from many central and state agencies. Two other projects cleared in the meeting were the expansion of the Nagpur airport and the construction of a new international green field airport in Pune.
“The present Pune Airport belongs to IAF and the civilian airport operates through a civil enclave. Given the traffic projections at Pune, there is an urgent need to build a new Green Field Airport. After discussing different options, it was decided that a new international airport would be developed for Pune at Khed. The Pune International Airport Project would be lead managed by the Airports Authority of India,” a PMO statement said. “The meeting discussed key infrastructure projects in Maharashtra which needed to be fast-tracked so that infrastructure in Mumbai and other major cities of the state remain in the forefront of development,” the statement added.
The location for the proposed Pune international airport was finalized at a high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi on Wednesday, divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said.
“The new site was recommended by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) after a survey to check if the location was suitable for the operation of flights. A total of 1,250 hectare has been finalized for the project. Of this, some part of land will be notified from the Khed special economic zone (SEZ) while the remaining land has been identified from three or four villages located nearby,” Deshmukh said.
“The total area for the project will remain about 6 km in length and around 2 km in width. Two parallel runways of about 4,000 metres each have been proposed for the project,” Deshmukh said. An official release by the press information bureau(PIB)stated that the Prime Minister held a meeting with state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and a high-level delegation from Maharashtra to discuss key infrastructure projects in the state. The meet was attended by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, finance minister P Chidambaram, deputy chairman of the planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and senior officers of the central and Maharashtra governments.
Deshmukh said the existing location is altogether different from the site recommended earlier for the proposed international airport. The earlier site was not found suitable for the project as per the technical survey conducted by AAI. Following this, a fresh survey at the existing location was conducted, he said.
“Most of these key mega projects have been staggering for the past several years because of technical issues and delay in approval by the central government departments. We urged the Centre to issue the clearance certificates as early as possible,” said a senior government official who was part of the delegation.
“We requested the PM to declare the Rs.9,630 crore trans-harbour link as a ‘national project’ and provide substantial financial assistance to this project. The project involving a distance of 22 km would help seamless and speedy link from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, Pune, Goa and south India,” he said.
The Churchgate–Virar elevated rail corridor, the MTHL, the shifting of the doppler radar, the Metro Corridor-III Colaba-Bandra SEEPZ, the salt pan lands, and the Dr BR Ambedkar memorial at the Indu Mills compound too were discussed.