Review the Navi Mumbai airport project before the site visit by the Expert Appraisal Committee members on October 18, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has asked Chief Secretary JP Dange.
MoEF secretary Vijay Sharma wrote to Dange last week asking him to review the project in the light of suggestions made by the committee in the last two meetings and the City and Industrial Development Corporation’s (Cidco) response to the same.
Dange will hold the review on Thursday at the Cidco office in Navi Mumbai and also check the latest change in plans.
“It was felt that a senior official should intervene to resolve the airport project. Cidco had not conceded the EAC’s suggestions to reduce the runway to avoid diverting the Ghadi river and saving 400 hectares of mangroves in the last meeting,’’ said a senior official from the MoEF. Keen on saving some of the non-aeronautical space, Cidco had said that reducing the runway would not ensure aviation safety. However, the state changed its stance after the Centre indicated that a compromise would have to be made.
On Tuesday, the Hindustan Times had reported that Cidco consultants Louis Berger had said that the changes sought by the EAC were feasible. These altered plans will be submitted to the state on October 10. Dange will check the plans to see if most of the concerns by the EAC are addressed.
The state has decided to reduce the distance between the runways and shift the non-aeronautical zone, spread over 400 hectares of mangroves and tidal mudflats, to the south.
The committee had suggested that Cidco use 222 hectares earmarked for SEZs to accommodate the non-aeronautical zone for cargo and Customs. The state is yet undecided.