Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, along with a delegation of Congress leaders, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to push for central clearance for the Navi Mumbai airport.
The airport is waiting for green clearance from the Union environment ministry. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has a strong stand against the proposed site for the ecological violations and damages the project will cause.
"We will tell the PM that development is more important for Mumbai and convince him that environmental concerns will be taken care of by making necessary changes [in the original plan]," said a member of Chavan’s delegation, requesting anonymity.
State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, Mumbai unit president Kripashankar Singh, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam will be part of the delegation.
Cidco, state and International Civil Aviation Organisation officials visited the proposed site near Panvel on Thursday.
"We went to see the site once more. The Union expert appraisal committee raised some queries and we have to reply to them. The visit was so that we can give a better reply to the queries, taking the ground situation into account," said Tanaji Satre, joint managing director, Cidco.
T.C. Benjamin, urban development principal secretary, who visited the site, was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.