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New airport to change Navi Mumbai’s fate!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And in the process, river Gadhi will not be diverted also 678 hectares of mangrove plantation will be developed around the new site to replace 161 hectares that will be destroyed during construction of the airport, says Gajanan Khergamker

It has finally happened! The Navi Mumbai Airport project has taken off sending ripples of delight among Navi Mumbai residents and developers alike. The Union Ministries of Environment and Aviation and Maharashtra government’s CIDCO compromised and reworked their positions ensuring Mumbai gets her second international airport.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel came together to announce the clearance. The Navi Mumbai airport will be built through Public-Private Partnership on 1160 hectares of land between Panvel creek and Karnala hills. Estimated to cost Rs 9,600 crore, the project will cater to 10 million passengers per year by 2015, 45 million passengers per year by 2025 and a total of 60 million passengers per year by 2030.

The Greenfield Airport will have two runways. It will be capable of handling aircraft as large as Airbus 380 and have parking space for about 104 aircrafts, aerobridges for 77 and cargo capacity will be 15 wide-body aircraft. It will have more than 150 counters for ticketing and visa clearance.

Buses will be run to the airport from metro, suburban, hovercraft and bus stations and a special Bus Rapid Transit system will be created on the proposed Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link.

After the Bombay High Court and Forest Act approvals, CIDCO will float global bids. The project work likely to commence after 12 months and first phase could be ready only by 2015.

Talk of the airport clearance spread like wild fire with property prices having surged up by about 15 per cent in several quarters. Some builders in areas like Kharghar, Kamothe, Khandeshwar, Belapur and Seawoods have been asking recent buyers whether they are willing to sell back newly-purchased flats.

Apparently, developers have been holding onto their ready flats in the hope of earning more once the actual work starts. Incidentally, there are already two SEZs planned in Navi Mumbai. Now that the airport has cleared the major hurdle, it will push the other infrastructure projects in the region including metro, waterways and the Nhava Sewri Trans Harbour Link.

So, apart from the airport that’s all slated to come up, the special economic zones and area’s proximity to Pune are Navi Mumbai’s highlights. It’s only a matter of time before the string of developmental activities once the airport comes up, catapults the zone next to the preferred business zone with its esteemed neighbour...Mumbai!

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