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Mumbai: pregnant with hope

In nine months time we'll know if Mumbai is getting another airport. That's when the International Civil Aviation Organisation, Montreal will turn in a study about a second airport at Navi Mumbai.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2006 23:33 IST

In nine months time we'll know if Mumbai is getting another airport. That's when the International Civil Aviation Organisation, Montreal will turn in a study about a second airport at Navi Mumbai. To be constructed over a 950 hectare area across the harbour from the island city, sea and rail links will connect it to south Mumbai.

The airstrip at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMI) will be saturated by 2007 and infrastructure will follow suit three years later at the present rate of growth in traffic.

CSMI airport has one runway and handles 520 planes a day. There is no room for a second. Situated in the middle of the city, with half of its land lost to encroachments ­ nearly three lakh people live there ­ CSMI airport has no land left. Therefore, notwithstanding the Rs 5,000 crore earmarked for CSMI modernisation, Mumbai needs another airport.

Once it commences operations, the Navi Mumbai airport will be able to an handle annual movement of 4.5 million passengers in its first year and 30 million by 2030.

It will complement a special economic zone coming up close by that will house 14 different types of industries.

It will also benefit the exporters of time sensitive goods from the adjoining states of Goa and Karnataka besides the rich western and southern Maharashtra region. It all sounds good.

But is it too good to be true?

GRAPH

Bidding for Indian airports Bharti group and DLF with Changi Airport Management Partners L&T, Piramal and Hochtief Agarwal Galvanising Private Limited, Macquarie Bank and Aeroports de Paris. GMR group with Fraport and IDF GVK with ACSA of south Africa Reliance Airport Developers with Mexico airport D.S.Construction, Apollo Enterprises Ltd. Ebony Retail Holdings Ltd. with Flughafen Munchen GumbH, John Laing International Essel group with TAV Consortium