The much-delayed Mumbai airport modernisation project is likely to be delayed further as the airport operator has terminated its contract with realty firm Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) over relocating residents of 65,000 shanties that have encroached on airport land.
According to a statement issued by the Mumbai Interna-tional Airport Limited (MIAL), a GVK-led private consortium developing the airport, the contract was terminated because HDIL had “continuously failed” to complete the relocation project. The project, awarded in October 2007, was to be completed by 2011, but not one family was rehabilitated. HDIL said it would go to court against the termination of contract.
The 276 acres of encroached airport land is holding up MIAL’s plan to build aircraft parking lots, taxiways, and most importantly, one arm of the X-shaped integrated terminal coming up in Sahar.
With passengers already being charged for cost escalation of the project, the delay could further burden passengers, said aviation safety experts.