CIDCO identifies an alternative area for new airport







By Accommodation Times News Service

The Maharashtra government and its City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) have identified 1,500 hectares atMadh island in Panvel creek near Navi Mumbai as an alternative site for the proposed international airport.

Cidco, nodal agency for the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport, says a new one can be constructed at the said site for between Rs 3,000crore and Rs 6,000crore, depending on the requirement of filling needed for leveling. This compares with the current cost of Rs 14,573crore for the present onshore site, spread over 2,268 ha.

In the case of the present onshore site, on the land of 17 villages in Navi Mumbai, Cidco will need to spend Rs 10,000crore alone on relief and rehabilitation, providing developed land to project affected persons and filling of land. All this will be saved if an airport at the creek is possible.

Cidco says it is now seriously exploring this option, based on a presentation made by the Netherlands-based consultancy firm of Royal Haskoning DHV.

Cidco Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Sanjay Bhatia told Business Standard: “In the first model, we have to go in for filling of 1.5 metres on the proposed 1,500 ha identified in Panvel creek. In the case of flooding due to rain, a permanent pumping system will be put in place. The airport will be constructed at Rs 3,000crore, as there will be huge saving on acquisition of land, compensation package and other pre-development works.”

In the first model, a bund would have to be made around the site. In this second model, Cidco will have to do seven to eight metres of filling for leveling 1,500 ha. ”There will not be construction of any bund but a slope will be constructed. In this case, the airport construction cost will be Rs 6,000crore,” said Bhatia.

He said the government and Cidco were seriously examining this option. ”Cidco will formally appoint Royal Haskoning DHV to prepare a comprehensive report, which will need about six months. Thereafter, at least two to three years will be required to put in place the necessary clearances and approvals to actually start development of the airport.”

Bhatia reiterated that the project will be delayed by another three years if is to be developed at the creek. As far as the opposition by a section of project affected persons against the government’s offer to provide 22.5 per cent developed land and other benefits at the present site is concerned, he said there would be no further negotiations.

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