CIDCO officials are sweating about the repercussions of the Land Acquisition and Relief and Rehabilitation Bill on the Navi Mumbai Airport project, even before it becomes law.
They plan to petition Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reduce the compensation amount under the bill, when he visits Mumbai on October 1.
The bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July, has proposed an award amount not less than twice that of the market value for urban areas, and not less than six times the original market value for rural areas.
These provisions have made CIDCO officials panicky. “If we have to compensate the residents as per the provisions of the new Act, we may have to shell out over Rs40,000-crore, which would make the project unviable. Therefore we are hoping that the PM would give some benefit to our project,” a senior CIDCO official said.
The Navi Mumbai Airport, which was planned to ease the load on Mumbai’s existing airport, is spread over 2,020 hectares.
Of this, only 1,596 hectares has been acquired so far. CIDCO needs to shift around 3,000 families from 10 hamlets in order to acquire the remaining 424 hectares.
The state government has still not announced the rehabilitation package for those that will be displaced by the airport, and has claimed that a final draft on what it plans to offer the 3,000 affected residents will be submitted to the chief minister before October 20.
Tanaji Satre, vice chairman and managing director, CIDCO, claimed that they were still working on providing reasonable compensation to the residents. “We are working on various options including providing residents developed land around the airport instead of complete cash. We are hopeful that they will have no complaints with the package that we offer,” Satre said.
The government, while announcing plans for the project last year, had claimed that the first phase of the airport would be operational by 2014, and the remaining three by 2017, 2025 and 2031, respectively.