All decks have been cleared for the construction of the Navi Mumbai international airport, as the major hurdle of land acquisition has been resolved.
According to the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco) officials, pre-construction activities will start in the next three to four months, while actual construction work of the airport will start next year.
Despite getting all approvals, the agency had been unable to carry out any activity on the proposed airport land because of opposition to land acquisition by project-affected people (PAP).
However, the PAPs have now given their consent, Cidco officials said.
According to the government package, project affected people will get 22.5% of developed land for every hectare of land acquired. They will be provided 1.5 floor space index (FSI) for 12.5% of developed land and 2.5 FSI for another 10%.
“We have to divert rivulets, cut hillocks, level land and relocate high-tension power lines under the pre-construction work. This will start soon,” said Sanjay Bhatia, managing director, Cidco.
Cidco joint managing director V Radha said more than 98% of the PAPs had given their consents for the land acquisition and hence the rehabilitation process will start soon.
The airport project, which was nearly on the verge of getting scrapped because of hurdles in getting green clearances and land acquisition, is expected to be operational by mid-2019, said Bhatia.
However, it is still not smooth sailing for Cidco. The work may once again be stalled if the agency fails to prove that 157 acres of land reportedly belonging to the Bivalkar family has been officially acquired by it.
The Bombay high court has ruled in favour of the Bivalkar family, asking Cidco to pay Rs1,200 crore compensation for the land.
“We are going to file a special writ petition in the Supreme Court in the next few days,” said Bhatia.
The airport was supposed to be ready by 2012, but was stuck because of several bureaucratic and environmental hurdles as well as land acquisition issues.
After missing the original deadline, it has now been pushed to mid-2019.