State to expedite land acquisition for Pune airport | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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State to expedite land acquisition for Pune airport

After getting Navi Mumbai airport approved, the state government has now set its sights on a much-delayed international airport in Chakan near Pune.

mumbai Updated: Jun 14, 2011 01:10 IST
HT Correspondent

After getting Navi Mumbai airport approved, the state government has now set its sights on a much-delayed international airport in Chakan near Pune.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan asked officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Authority (MADC) to expedite land acquisition for the Rs7,000 crore project, which will be operational by 2014. Work on the airport was to commence this year, but was delayed by farmers protesting the land acquisition for the past four years.

About 3,300 hectares of land covering seven villages has been notified for the airport.

Chakan is about 32 km from Pune on the Pune-Nashik Highway. The airport authorities need to shift its base to the new airport because the present Lohegaon airport being used belongs to the Indian Air Force. However, Pune has one of the highest air-traffic rates in the country and requires a dedicated airport.

A senior Mantralaya official told HT requesting anonymity that the CM decided to expedite the Chakan plan after being pressured by the union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and deputy CM Ajit Pawar. Both the NCP leaders hail from Pune district. “The government will hold talks with the farmers to resolve the issue,” the officer said.

Other than Chakan, MADC was asked to expedite work on domestic airports in Shirdi, Amaravati and Solapur. Some issues related to the Nagpur international airport were also discussed.

“The government feels that the Shirdi airport could move faster as the Shirdi Temple Trust will now be able to contribute a substantial amount of Rs100 crore to the project. The government has amended the trust law to facilitate the grant from the state-controlled temple trust,” said the officer, who did not wish to identified as the government has barred officials from commenting on the issue.