Delhi could soon have a new airport in its suburb, Greater Noida, thanks to the finance bill being passed in Parliament.
Less than a fortnight after the bill was passed with the unlikely support to the UPA government by Mayawati's BSP, the government will take up the proposal of the new international airport.
A Group of Ministers (GoM) will meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue, which has been in the pipeline since 2001, when it was put up by the UP government. The proposal had been held up because a 1997 rule says no new airport can be set up within 150km of an existing one.
The proposed airport will be 72 km from Delhi airport.
The opinion of the country’s top legal officer, the Attorney General (AG), sought in 2008, could form the basis of the decision to approve the project, which is being seen as a return favour to Mayawati.
“It does not appear that there was any express condition in the bid documents prohibiting the Government from developing a new airport within 150 km of the Delhi airport,” the AG had said earlier.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is already on record with his disapproval of the rule restricting new airports. However, the GMR-led consortium that operates Delhi airport has cited the 1997 rule in its opposition to the Greater Noida project.