Today a meeting was held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithvi Raj Chauhan, regarding the infrastructure projects in Maharashtra which was also attended by the Agriculture Minister, Finance Minister, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Senior Officers of the Govt. of India and the State Government.
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 most significant breakthrough was on the Navi Mumbai International Airport. The current Mumbai Airport is expected to reach full capacity by 2015 and in the context of Mumbai`s needs as a business and financial centre, there is a pressing need to develop a new international airport, failing which traffic to Mumbai would suffer delays and would also get diverted elsewhere. The Navi Mumbai International Airport would ensure that air traffic to Mumbai would grow unhindered for many years.
This Airport Project, which was approved in 2007 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has received clearances from many agencies both at the Central and State levels. The only major issue that was pending was the acquisition of remaining land. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra informed that, after detailed discussions with the Project Affected Persons (PAPs), an agreement had been arrived on a comprehensive and generous package for the land to be acquired. With this, all decks have been cleared to move ahead on the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project. It is likely that the project will be awarded by 31.3.2014.
Another project that was finalised was the new international 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.
The other long pending issue which was resolved is the expansion of Nagpur airport (MIHAN). It was resolved in the meeting that Government of India would move to exchange the necessary land with the Government of Maharashtra so that the work on this can begin immediately.
The other project that was discussed is the Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor Project, which envisages an investment of Rs.20,000 crore to build additional suburban traffic capacity over 60 kms. It was agreed that a fresh traffic study would be conducted taking into account the traffic capacity being created by the new Mumbai Metro line which is partially on the same alignment. The modalities on moving ahead with the project would also be finalised soon after that.