The City Industrial and Development Corporation (CIDCO), in charge of the Navi Mumbai airport project, missed its meeting with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) on Tuesday. It went with the airport compliance report a day late, on Wednesday.
“Our officials went with the report on Wednesday. We are aware that it was supposed to be given on Tuesday, but it took time,” said CIDCO managing director, Tanaji Satre.
CIDCO’s delay has miffed officials in the central ministry considering the importance of the project and the pressure mounted by both the state government and civil aviation
ministry for clearance.
According to MOEF sources, it has been constantly pointed out that the existing Mumbai airport, with a carrying capacity of 40 million passengers, will reach saturation point by 2013 and that CIDCO’s proposed new airport is expected to handle 60 million passengers. “Yet, they did not turn up,” the source pointed out.
The compliance report that CIDCO submitted consists of all changes proposed by the Experts Appraisal Committee that visited the Navi Mumbai site on October 18.
Apart from re-aligning the runways by reducing their distance by 250 metres, shifting the 400-hectare non-aeronautical area to the south, there were soil and water testing reports along with water drainage methodology reports that were required to be submitted.
On October 27, Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh met civil aviation minister Praful Patel and had indicated that a compromise had been arrived at and the latter had promised to comply with all environmental adjustments put forth by the MOEF.