The Navi Mumbai international airport may miss its 2019 deadline with three of the qualified bidders raising questions about the timeline and cost over runs involved in executing the Rs.16,000-crore project.
It would take at least six years from “start to finish“ to complete the new airport given the current status at the site . However, Cidco still claims that one runway will be operational by 2019 and the entire airport ready the following year.
Tata Realty & Infrastructure, Hiranandani Group and GMR Infrastructure have said that they do not plan to put in financial bids on January 9 and will seek time to decide till issues linked to resettlement and pre-development work are resolved. GVK Power & Infrastructure-led Mumbai International Airport is the fourth bidder and the only one that has not expressed reluctance to meet the 42-month deadline which government intends to set.
Activists have cautioned that the Navi Mumbai site is surrounded by rich bird habitats. “It involves destruction of 400 acres of mangroves, 1,000 acres of mud flats and about 300 acres of forest land. Two rivers will have to be diverted. The Rs.6,500 crore that will be spent on “land development“ is actually the cost of destroying the environment,“ said environmentalist Debi Goenka.