Mumbai: The central government on Thursday said that the land acquisition process for the core airport area for the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport has been completed, paving way for the beginning of the construction process for the long awaited airport project.
"The land acquisition for entire 1,160 hectares of the core airport area has been completed by the state government (of Maharashtra) for handing over to M/s NMIAL (Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited)," Hardeep Singh Puri, the minister of state for aviation informed the Lok Sabha in a written statement.
"The timeline for construction of airport projects depends upon many factors, such as land acquisitions and availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure, etc, by the individual operator," Puri said adding that necessary action for approval from various departments, project development, including financing of the airport project is taken by the respective promoter.
The state government, which is hoping to commission the first phase of the airport by May 2020, recently issued a notification giving due powers to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to complete all necessary formalities, including handing over of developed plot, cash component and other facilities proposed under the rehabilitation and compensation package.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had in January said that the Navi Mumbai airport is likely to be operational by mid-2020. However, the Navi Mumbai airport may not start operations by the end of next year as expected by the Maharashtra government, said two people familiar with the project. Factors such as rehabilitating hundreds of people displaced by the project and pre-development work may result in the airport opening only by 2020-21, the people told Mint on condition of anonymity.
The Navi Mumbai airport, a much-delayed project, was first proposed in 1997 as a secondary airport to support the busy Mumbai airport. Estimated to cost ₹3,000 crore, the Navi Mumbai airport received the government’s approval only in 2007. It, however, got delayed due to issues over acquiring land, securing government approvals, including environmental clearance.
According to the concession agreement (signed by stakeholders in January 2018) for the development of the airport, the first stage of the airport is to be completed by 2021, said one of the above mentioned people.