The Navi Mumbai airport is all set to get environment clearance with a ministry panel having expressed satisfaction over revised proposal submitted by City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).
The airport, has been a bone of contention between environment minister Jairam Ramesh and civil aviation minister Praful Patel with the latter accusing the former of getting the project delayed.
The ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), which is meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, will examine the revised proposal submitted by CIDCO, in which major concerns raised by the panel were addressed.
A major concern of EAC is to reduce distance between two runways to minimise impact on two rivers — Gadhi and Ulwe. The issue was addressed with CIDCO, which agreed to reduce the distance between from 1,835 meters to 1,500 meters. The panel agreed to the change.
This will mean there will be no diversion of Gadhi and impact on Ulwe will be minimised. Ulwe will flow beneath the airport site as proposed by CIDCO.
The panel, during its site visit in October, had agreed to the CIDCO proposal to divert non-aeronautical activities out of the airport area so that a lagoon of around 275 hectares can be developed for a mangrove park.
“This will reduce impact on the mangrove cultivation,” a ministry official said.
But, the panel still has some issues regarding impact on water quality of the rivers due to the discharge from the airport and its mitigation is likely to be a condition for the clearance. The CIDCO has been asked to submit revised data on it.