Navi Mumbai airport snippets
Maharashtra has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to expedite various clearances needed for theupcoming Navi Mumbai airport. The state wants taxes on the development of the airport to be waived and compensation to project-affected persons reduced to market rates. The state also wants more flights to be diverted to the new airport once it starts operations. The first phase of the airport is scheduled to start in July 2015 with a handling capacity of 10 million passengers a year.The second phase,by 2020, would handle 25 million passengers while the final phase, to be completed in 2030, would handle 60 million passengers a year. “The Ministry of civil aviation (MOCA) has approved the project on a public-private partnership basis. A private concessionaire will build the airport and earn a profit over the years. Air traffic distribution between the two airports need to be resolved by MOCA and the central government,” the city and industrial development corporation (Cidco), which is the state’s nodal agency for airport development, said. Presently, Mumbai airport handles 26 million passengers a year,which is likely to go up to 35 million by July 2015, when the first phase of Navi Mumbai airport will start operations. Cidco wants 10 million per year traffic to be shifted to the new airport so as to make the project financially viable from the first day itself. Similarly, Cidco said that the pre-development expenditure for the project is high (nearly 30% of the total project cost of Rs 14,000 crore, that is, Rs 4,000 crore) and hence exemption of taxes by the centre and the state can make the project economically viable. According to the state’s letter to the Prime Minister,the amendment or revision of the land acquisition bill of 2011 is also necessary to avoid cash burden on the project. “As per the proposed bill, we will have to pay many times the market rate of the land, which may affect the viability of the project,” Cidco sources said. Of the total 2,020 hectare land needed for the project, around 425 hectare is yet to be acquired from farmers, besides resettling them nearby. Clearance from the ministry of environment and forests for shifting of high voltage transmission towers from the project area and creation of mangrove lagoons on 615 hectares, is still awaited. “If this doesn’t happen then the actual groundwork for the project may be delayed,” a source said. Cidco also wants the centre to expedite construction of the trans-harbour link between Nhava and Sewri, extension of the Metro from Mankhurd to Panvel, creation of fast-track suburban rail corridor between CST and Panvel, and construction of a hovercraft terminal in South Mumbai.