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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Land acquisition process, poll code could delay ‘fast-tracked’ Purandar airport project

The process of land acquisition is likely to get delayed, as the district administration has received at least 1,550 objections. Also, with the assembly elections due, the model code of conduct will come into effect this week, thus causing a further delay in the project

pune Updated: Sep 20, 2019 16:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
The proposed Purandar airport is slated to come up in Pargaon Memane, Khanavdi, Munjawadi, Ekhatpur, Udachiwadi, Kumbharvalan and Vanpuri villages in Purandar region of Pune district.
The proposed Purandar airport is slated to come up in Pargaon Memane, Khanavdi, Munjawadi, Ekhatpur, Udachiwadi, Kumbharvalan and Vanpuri villages in Purandar region of Pune district.(HT/PHOTO)
         

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, during his visit to the city on Sunday, said that the work of the proposed airport at Purandar is in the fast lane and the process of land acquisition will begin soon.

However, contrary to Fadnavis’ comment, the process of land acquisition is likely to get delayed, as the district administration has received at least 1,550 objections. Also, with the assembly elections due, the model code of conduct will come into effect this week, thus causing a further delay in the project.

While the administration has worked out four models for land acquisition, the resistance by locals has posed a hurdle. In May 2018, the Maharashtra government gave a nod to release Rs 3,513 crore for the project, part of which will be used for land acquisition.

Despite the notification related to the development plan and Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) forming a special purpose vehicle, things have not moved ahead. Naval Kishore Ram, Pune district collector, said, “We have appointed a land acquisition officer and will decide the rate.”

A senior official from the Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) requesting anonymity, said, “The Maharashtra cabinet in April had granted its approval for setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the proposed Purandar international airport in Pune which will expedite the work of land acquisition for the airport.”

MADC has been appointed as the nodal agency for implementing the project, while the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco) will be a major stakeholder in the SPV. Cidco will hold 51 per cent stake in the SPV, while MADC’s stake will be 19 per cent. The remaining 30 per cent will be divided between the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

“We will resolve all the issues through dialogue and consider the requests of landholders. Usually, those raising objections seek judicious compensation and it must not be construed as a protest. The landholders have the right to put forth their demands,” said Kishore.

“We will ensure that the land acquisition task is completed smoothly and everybody is content after the process,” he added.

The proposed Purandar airport is slated to come up in Pargaon Memane, Khanavdi, Munjawadi, Ekhatpur, Udachiwadi, Kumbharvalan and Vanpuri villages in Purandar region of Pune district. The state government has already sanctioned the funds for acquiring 2,376 hectares in Purandar. CM Fadnavis issued directives that “direct purchase” system will be a model for the acquiring land for the project by the administration.

The proposed airport is likely to generate huge potential in terms of passengers, cargo and tourism for the region and will be developed as a world-class airport based on public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 18:10 IST

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