When it comes to infrastructure and transport (air and road), I don’t think our government makes an effort to see the future — or even the present for that matter.
It only gets involved in expressing the extravagance and the magnitude of the prospect that is being offered to the people, like in the case of Mumbai’s second airport, which will eventually do nothing, but congest and suffocate everything that will fly above our head.
Instead, it would be better if it looks at improving the existing international airport, which looks slightly better than a depot.
The question to address is if we really need another airport, and not figure out which location suits the best and which one harms the environment the least. Our government is quite adept at barking up the wrong tree.
How will we even get to the new airport?
The news of a new airport coming up at Navi Mumbai was heartening but also brings to mind the problems that will be faced by the fliers expected to commute between Mumbai and the new airport, given the existing state of connectivity.
Proper attention should be given to the connectivity between the city airports to facilitate smooth travel for the people using the airports.
I doubt work will have begun by 2015
It would be wishful thinking to expect CIDCO to build a world-class airport on marshy land in five years.
The elaborate land-filling work alone will probably take that long — and it could easily take another 20 years to build the airport itself. And yes, the new airport will be woefully outpaced by commuter traffic by then, warranting yet another airport, as foreseen by Civil Aviation Minister
As for Environment Jairam Ramesh’s sharp U-turn on the environmental clearance for this airport, I wish he had stood by his earlier stand and protected our ecology.
New airport will ease air congestion
The second airport at Navi Mumbai is expected to cater to 60 million passengers annually by 2030.
It will ease the pressure on the existing airport considerably. If it is felt that by 2015 the air traffic will be so much that even this second airport will not be enough.
It would be a good option to ease out some of the smaller airlines and ask the major carriers to go in for bigger aircrafts that will take more passengers to reduce the number of landings and take-offs.
Dr V Subramanyan
We should learn from China
Work in our city moves at a snail’s pace, and I don’t know if the Navi Mumbai airport slotted for 2015 will meet its target. We should learn from China, which built a two-storey, 50-km sealink in two years.
With the second airport yet to see the light of day, we are already talking of a third airport.
All clearances for the second airport should come within three months. Will it be a public, private or a partnership of both that will make the airport? Only when we know this can we begin to ponder when work will begin, when it will end and whether it will be enough. Meanwhile, we can safely say we are building for the present when, yes, we should be building for the future.
Shouldn’t we learn to build roads first?
How much money is going to be lost to corruption in the building of the new airport?
From bad roads to tottering skywalks, taxpayer’s money goes down the drain every day. Every monsoon, we have to face dug-up road and potholes. When the people who run this country can’t give us good roads, I am not sure if we will get a decent airport.
We will have to wait and watch as this drama unfolds.