Mishandling and economic slowdown affected the MIHAN airport and cargo hub project in Nagpur, the state government admitted on Wednesday.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said in the state assembly that the government had made big mistakes and not moved speedily in implementing the ambitious multi-modal international passenger and cargo hub airport. Chavan said this in response to a discussion on the project raised by the Opposition legislators.
Admitting to allegations of delay and inefficiency, Chavan said lack of focused attention on the project and global slowdown in 2008 had adversely impacted the project. “The government is committed to the project, but during the slow down, several investors backed out. Now, the central issue of resettlement package and rehabilitation is beyond the ambit of just the government and would require cooperation of all political parties,” said Chavan.
The Maharashtra Airport Development Company implementing the project is yet to acquire land for building the second runway at the international airport. While the rehabilitation township for the SEZ affected villages is ready, the state government is yet to shift the project-affected people (PAP).
The government is finding it difficult to acquire land as expectations of people have increased over the years. Chavan said the government was looking at two options of financial compensation and handing over 12.5% developed land as resettlement package. The urban development department had ruled out the third option of granting floating FSI or TDR to project-affected people.
“We may have to negotiate or seek grants from the Centre for the financial compensation for the PAPs,” he said.
In the short term, Chavan added, the government would grant Rs40 crore for building of taxiway for Boeing Company. He said the government would appoint a full time CEO for MIHAN project.
Chavan also assured the lower house that he would have a meeting with the forest and defence ministries to sort out pending issues of ownership and transfer of land required for the project.
BJP legislator Devendra Phadnavis, who raised the issue, said the project had potential to transform Vidarbha, but the state government and the previous chief ministers had failed to take the project forward since 2002.