EAC visit brings hope for Navi Mumbai airport

EAC visit brings hope for Navi Mumbai airport

Mumbai: A day after the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) visited the Navi Mumbai airport site for inspection, the Maharashtra government on Thursday said it was positive over the project.

The EAC held a meeting on Thursday with government officials and discussed the environmental objections raised earlier about the site of the airport and the revised plan submitted by the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco), the developing authority.

“The meeting was positive and everything was discussed. It looks like there would be headway," Cidco chairman Tanaji Satre said after the meeting.

However, one of the objections to bringing down a hillock on the proposed airport site was not discussed in the meeting, Satre said.

Ulwe, one of the two rivers in the area, would be diverted, saving Gadhi in the revised plan, he said.

Another concern was about the 161 hectare mangroves in the area of which 50 hectares would remain untouched, the official said, adding, they will have to do something for remaining 110 hectare mangroves which are not fully grown, he said.

Echoing Satre’s views, principal secretary of Urban Development Department T. C. Benjamin said, “We have made our presentation and the indications are positive. Now it is up to them."

There are some minor objections but it looks good overall and the government would wait for the Centre’s nod, Benjamin said.

The environment ministry and aviation ministry have been at loggerheads over the delay in environmental clearance to the Navi Mumbai airport.

According to the environment ministry, the construction of airport at the proposed site will lead to destruction of mangrove forest and diversion of two small rivers.