The deadlock over the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport seems to show some signs of unravelling.
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Friday, assured Chief Minister Ashok Chavan that he would intervene in the matter, the state government said it was willing to shift the commercial components of the proposed airport to the south of the current site to minimise damage to the environment.
Chavan, who led a Maharashtra Congress delegation, told a media conference in New Delhi that the PM would pave the way for Mumbai's development by resolving the issue at the earliest. “We are not averse to making compromises in the interest of the environment,” he said. The state government is looking for land to the south of the existing airport site to shift the commercial area that will host hotels, malls, banks and conference halls.
A day after Hindustan Times reported about the 300-hectare unoccupied land adjacent to the proposed airport site to the south, with fewer ecological concerns, as an alternative for the 415-hectare commercial ‘non aeronautical' component of the airport, the government said it would look at the option. “We are seeing if we can move the zone for non-aeronautical activity south,” said TC Benjamin, principal secretary, State Urban Development Department.
(With inputs by Dharmendra Jore)