The Navi Mumbai airport project has finally been cleared for take-off. On Monday environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced that a compromise solution had been reached and that work on the airport could begin. Ramesh made the announcement along with civil aviation minister Praful Patel and Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. As part of the compromise, one coastal river will be diverted instead of two. And developers will plant 678 acres of mangroves in place of the 98 acres that will be cut down. Monday’s compromise puts an end to a three-year long tussle between the civil aviation and the environment ministries. The Navi Mumbai airport is considered crucial part of enabling the city to cope with an explosion of passenger traffic in the coming years. Mumbai’s existing airport is expected to reach the limits of its capacity by 2013.
There’s no end to the political deadlock between the ruling Congress-party and opposition parties. An all-party meet on Monday failed to find a solution that would get Parliament functioning again. The opposition continues to demand a joint parliamentary probe in the controversy over second generation spectrum allocation. And they’ve been joined by some of the Congress’ own UPA allies like the Trinamool Congress. But the Congress insists the ongoing investigation is adequate and that there’s no need to duplicate efforts.