With elections less than a year away and a deadline from the prime minister’s office (PMO) to issue work tenders for the Navi Mumbai International Airport by July 2014, the chief minister on Monday tried to tackle the two main hurdles before the project — political support and consent of locals.
In a bid to get the full backing of his party and ally NCP, CM Prithviraj Chavan invited senior ministers and local legislators for a review of the airport’s action plan by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), on Monday.
Among those invited were deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Raigad guardian minister Sunil Tatkare, excise minister Ganesh Naik, minister of state for urban development Uday Samant (all from NCP) and industries minister Narayan Rane from the Congress.
At the meeting, it was decided that Cidco should first address the concerns of Project Affected Persons (PAPs) from earlier projects, to curb resentment and win over locals who are opposing the Navi Mumbai airport. The Cidco’s offer of 22.5 of developed land was fair, it was discussed, and monetary compensation was ruled out.
Land acquisition has been one of the biggest hurdles to the project, and locals are unhappy with Cidco’s offer of developed land. PAPs have demanded a monetary compensation of Rs30 to Rs50 per hectare, and many loca leaders, including some from the ruling alliance, have indirectly supported the demand.
The CM has also planned a meeting with all stakeholders during which senior politicians will engage with leaders of the PAPs.
“Cidco’s credibility is so poor that unless we discuss old issues, we can’t talk of the Nav Mumbai airport. We are trying to address this, along with initiating consistent dialogues with PAPs of the airport project,” said an official associated with the project.
There are more than 21 demands by PAPs that the state will have to address before finalising the rehabilitation package including the 12.5% of developed land from earlier project.
The developed land will be handed over in an open forum held in every village.