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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Navi Mumbai airport: State plans new formula to acquire land

Shailesh Gaikwad, Hindustan Times  Nagpur, December 16, 2011
First Published: 01:31 IST(16/12/2011) | Last Updated: 01:32 IST(16/12/2011)

In a bid to expedite land acquisition for the Navi Mumbai international airport, the state government has planned a new formula- to convince the owners of private land to give their land for the project.

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The project monitoring committee, which met under the chairmanship of chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad on Thursday, discussed the formula. It also decided to invite quotations from prospective developers of the airport by January 15.

The proposed airport is facing hurdles in the acquisition of private land. It will need 2,042 hectares of land of which 1,405 hectare is already with the nodal agency, City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), 485 hectare is privately owned and 151 hectare is owned by the state government.

CIDCO officials and the state government have been negotiating with the residents of seven villages, who will need to shift to acquire the 485-hectare private land. Land acquisition is stuck as the villagers (5,000 families) are demanding a higher compensation package.

The proposed land acquisition bill has also proposed six times higher compensation for project affected families. "Since we cannot give that much money for buying land in Navi Mumbai, we have worked out a land-for-land formula under which the owners will be given land elsewhere in Navi Mumbai instead of cash," said a senior official involved in the process, on condition of anonymity.

The 5,000 families will be given alternative accommodation at Dapoli, Wadgaon and Wahal villages, the sources said. Further, those who own land will be given land instead of cash as compensation. Details of the formula are being finalised, said the official who added that owners had shown interest in the same. "This would help us overcome a major hurdle in the construction of the airport," he added.

The committee, on Thursday, cleared a proposal to issue a Request For Quotation (RFQ), under which quotations would be invited from prospective developers of the airport. The RFQ would be issued on January 2012 and the private developer will be zeroed in by June 2012, the official said.

The committee also directed CIDCO to begin initial work on the ground. This includes building a retaining wall, shifting high-tension lines carrying electricity through the proposed site and work for diversion of the Ulwe river. This work will begin in January. CIDCO has also initiated process to acquire 151 hectare government-owned land for the project.

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