Navi Mumbai airport snippets
In a bid to expedite the process of construction of the Navi Mumbai airport, City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) officials have decided not to depend on a developer but to themselves divert a small stretch of the Ulve river, blast a hillock and level the ground with debris before actual constructions can take off. All this, the Cidco has decided to execute on its own and, that too, within a year’s time, the period that a developer will take to start the construction. Earlier, the Cidco had decided to hand over the work to the international developer, which will construct the airport, but as the mere process of appointing it will take another year, the officials have decided to prepare the ground for takeoff. “By the time the developer is appointed, the ground will be ready. The work should otherwise take three years but we want to finish it in a year to expedite the construction of the terminals,” said Cidco MD Tanaji Satre. “The work on blasting and diverting the river is expected to start at the onset of the new year.” Tenders to invite international developers will be floated at the beginning of the next year. Cidco’s transportation engineer Soma Vijay Kumar said an engineering consultant had been appointed to design and plan the work in such a way that it could be completed at the earliest. Moreover, the Cidco has also sped up the job of shifting high-tension cables passing over the airport area, a project that will cost around Rs 500 crore. “We are finalizing the re-routing of the electricity cables with the help of the government and Tata Power so that the wires did not come in the way of the touchdown path,” said Vijaykumar, promising to get the realigning of the cables done within a couple of years. Asked about the major hurdle of evicting and rehabilitating villagers who stay on the land that will be taken for the airport, Satre said 75% of the area had already come in possession of the government and for the rest, negotiations with residents were in the final stage. According to Satre, the Cidco has already asked the Bombay high court for permission for digging, blasting and land-filling during which a small stretch of mangroves might have to be hacked. “We, along with the forest department, are building a mangrove park on around 245 hectares on Waghivali island to compensate for any damage during the work. The blueprint for the park is ready,” he added. The responsibility of dividing Mumbai and Navi Mumbai’s aerospace to ensure smooth functioning of the two airports has been assigned to a committee comprising members of DGCA, AAI and Cidco.