All green hurdles are set to be removed in the first week of November for Mumbai’s second airport at Navi Mumbai.
Environment minister Jairam Ramesh and civil aviation minister Praful Patel on Tuesday agreed on the changes required at the project site in Navi Mumbai for the Expert Appraisal Committee to give approval.
The committee is meeting on November 9 and 10 to clear the project following a visit to the project site last week.
The project was approved by the Union cabinet in 2007 but had got stuck with the environment ministry, which raised objections over diversion of two rivers Gadhi and Ulwe, unlikely survival of mangroves spread over 400 acres and the blasting of a hill.
The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), the project proponent, had agreed to shift the location of non-aeronautical assets such as hotels and shopping areas to minimise damage to mangrove cultivation and diversion of two rivers.
The two runways, a norm for an international airport, will stay at the original location — meaning flattening a small hill that earlier had quarries. Thus, CIDCO had conceded to two of the three issues raised by the ministry.
Ministry officials said CIDCO had been asked to present revised plans as per the agreement before the next panel meeting, in which approval for the project is expected.
“A lot of progress has been made because of the proactive approach taken by both the sides... This project will see the light of day (after November 10),” Patel said after the meeting to remove “green hurdles”.
Ramesh said “we have made good progress” and was hopeful the project will be cleared at the meeting. From the environment point of view, he said “we are 65% satisfied” as the civil aviation ministry has agreed to make “a major effort in mangrove protection”.
The environment ministry objected to the Navi Mumbai airport because of diversion of two rivers Gadhi and Ulwe, unlikely survival of mangroves spread over 400 acres and the blasting of a hill.
Environment minister and civil aviation minister have agreed on changes required for the Expert Appraisal Committee to give approval.
The committee is meeting on November 9 and 10 to clear the project.