Navi Mumbai International Airport- Boon or bane? -Bhupendra Shah analyses - Hindustan Times
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Navi Mumbai International Airport- Boon or bane? -Bhupendra Shah analyses

ByHT Brand Studio
Jul 12, 2021 09:08 PM IST

The ₹16,700 cr greenfield international airport spread over 1,160 ha of land has been planned at Ulwe Kopar-Panvel region. It will be the second international airport in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, along with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport in Mumbai.

The proposed Navi Mumbai international airport project planned in the city is both a boon and bane for the city at present. It will turn into a major advantage as the airport is developed and comes into existence says Bhupendra Shah, chairman and managing director of Bhumiraj group, leading developers of Navi Mumbai.

Bhupendra Shah
Bhupendra Shah

The 16,700 cr greenfield international airport spread over 1,160 ha of land has been planned at Ulwe Kopar-Panvel region. It will be the second international airport in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, along with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport in Mumbai. NMIA will be a part of the country’s first multi-airport system. It will also have domestic and international cargo terminals.

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To be developed in phases, the first phase deadline has been postponed several times. The foundation plaque at the ground breaking ceremony for the airport was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2018.

Speaking on the project, Shah, who is also the Chairman Trustee Board of Builders Association (BANM) of Navi Mumbai says, “Fact is that the proposed airport is not really Navi Mumbai’s requirement. It is more of Mumbai’s need.”

Explains Bhupendra Shah, “The airport has actually led to reduction of around 7,200 acres of land available in the region. Several projects have been stuck for the past 10 to 15 years, due to height related problems. Development has stopped in the region around the airport area due to the constraints.”

Added Shah, “The airport project was first conceptualized in mid-90s. We are now in 2021 and the airport is nowhere in sight.”

Commenting on the effect the project has had so far, Shah said, “The sentiments have become positive. Land prices have appreciated manifold up from 10,000 per sqm to over 2.5 lakh sqm now.”

Quips Shah, “CIDCO’s investment of just putting up a sign board at the proposed airport site has helped it earn 20 times the airport project cost through the tendering of land in Navi Mumbai.”

On CIDCO’s role he states, “CIDCO has come up with an excellent plan which is the best in the country. It has not given a single rupee to the project affected persons, but offered 22.5% of development land to them along with a number of other benefits. This is a good move.”

On the road ahead Bhupendra Shah said, “The airport will bring along with it employment on a large scale. First of course, there will be huge direct job opportunities at the airport itself. Then there are a number of airport related industries and services that are just waiting to arrive as the project picks up.”

He added, “The hospitality industry will come here big time, along with the shipping companies, clearing and forwarding agents, couriers etc. There will be international hotel chains and restaurants to cater to the airport clientele.”

Shah explained, “Every hotel employs at least 200 people. Multiply that with the number of hotels and restaurants that will come up. The hospitality industry will generate over 50,000 jobs, the courier companies over 40,000 jobs and so on.”

According to Shah, “CBD Belapur that is located close to the airport is already reaping benefits of the proposed project. The area was virtually a concrete jungle since 1994-95 and no one was interested in purchasing office space here.”

He informed, “Since 2015-16, the shipping companies, clearing and forwarding agents and consequently hotels and restaurants have started setting up base here.”

According to Shah, “The IT industry has come up in a big way in the Thane-Belapur belt and as the airport develops one can imagine the rush that one will witness from the IT industry bigwigs. The Reliance SEZ too will become a reality then and that will be a major boost to employment generation as it will attract a host of industries.”

Stated Shah, “In these covid times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated, that we Indians have it in us to turn adversity into opportunity. This airport project if speeded up will be an economic booster for the country.”

Concluded Bhupendra Shah, “India is well equipped to challenge the economies of US and China and a project like Navi Mumbai international airport is key to achieving such success. It is about upgradation of quality of life through a mega project that will ensure several more.”

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content.

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