Thane MPs want new airport in Kalyan | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Thane MPs want new airport in Kalyan

Members of Parliament from Thane district have joined the campaign against having the new international airport at Panvel in Navi Mumbai.

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2010 02:22 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Members of Parliament from Thane district have joined the campaign against having the new international airport at Panvel in Navi Mumbai.

The MPs want the project to be shifted to Nevali near Kalyan from the present site near Panvel in Raigad district, 35 kms from Mumbai. Parliamentarians across party lines — Anand Paranjpe (Shiv Sena, Kalyan), Suresh Taware (Congress, Bhiwandi) and Baliram Jadhav (Bahujan Vikas Aghadi-Congress, Palghar) — submitted a petition to Union Minister of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi on Thursday. They will meet Ramesh again on Friday.

Paranjpe told Hindustan Times from New Delhi that his group shared the environment and economical concerns that the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) expressed in a letter to the PM last week.

“I hope Mr Ramesh will share our concerns,” Paranjpe said. Environment activists have started an online campaign demanding the withdrawal of the project from Navi Mumbai.

The Rs 10,000-crore project will come up on 1,140 hectares of land. The first phase is likely to be completed by 2013 at a cost of Rs 4,900 crore. Paranjpe said the 800-hectare plot at Nevali, 50 km north of Mumbai, was ideal. “The Defence Ministry owns the site and has an old airstrip there,” he said. “There will be no damage to the environment if more land is acquired.”

The MoEF also wants the developer of the airport, the City and Industry Development Corporation, to find other sites.

The move has triggered a political war between public representatives in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. While Thane’s MPs, excluding NCP’s Sanjeev Naik, have demanded that the project be moved, their counterparts in Mumbai and Raigad have asked the PM to expedite the existing proposal at Panvel.