The proposed airport at Navi Mumbai could cause lesser environmental damage if the state and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) make changes to the current plan.
This could, in turn, facilitate environment clearance from the Centre without which the project cannot get going. Shifting the site southwards will reduce the ecological damage, reveal documents accessed by Hindustan Times.
However, Cidco says it cannot shift the plot. "It seems impossible to find any land around. There is no option left but to keep it as it is," said Tanaji Satre, joint managing director, Cidco.
In its August 20 meeting, the Union environment ministry asked the state to shift the 415-hectare non-aeronautical section of the airport, which has mangroves and water bodies. The ministry does not want the mangroves hacked and the Gadhi river diverted, which will be required as per the existing plan.
However, the site plan shows a huge chunk of untouched land – around 300 hectares – to the south of the proposed site that is in Cidco's possession.