Well-placed Sachivalaya sources said that “a new proposal is now being prepared for environmental clearance”. The Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB), responsible for implementing the project, has been given the task of preparing it, as “the earlier proposal seemed not to satisfy the MoEF”.
Headed by a top aide of chief minister Narendra Modi, AK Sharma, GIDB has been toying with the idea of having an international airport about 85 kilometers south of Ahmedabad since 2008. To be outside Dholera special investment region (SIR), seen as a new modern urban conglomeration off Gulf of Khambhat, once established, the airport is being contemplated as Gujarat’s future international airport.
“The present airport in Ahmedabad will confine to national flights. All international flights will be shifted to the new site”, a senior official said. The site consists of 1,690.22 hectares (ha) of Pipli, Paccham and Valinda villages of Dhanduka taluka. Sources said, high-level discussions between GIDB executives and MoEF officials a few weeks ago revealed that there was “some confusion” in Delhi regarding whether the proposed site, especially its runway, fell under the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ), in which all developmental activity is banned.
In the new proposal, the runway will be aligned in such a way that all planes land from the sea side, like before. However, it is away from the CRZ boundary.