New Delhi : The Navi Mumbai International Airport Project, cleared by the Civil Aviation Ministry back in 2007, will be awarded for construction by March 31.
A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting held on Wednesday by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on fast-tracking key infrastructure projects of the State. The meeting was attended by Sharad Pawar, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister and senior officials.
They said the Prime Minister expressed pleasure over the most significant breakthrough in case of the Navi Mumbai International Airport when the Chief Minister conveyed resolution of the only major pending issue of acquisition of remaining land with an agreement just reached with the land owners on a comprehensive and generous package.
The project has already received clearances from many central and state agencies and now decks are cleared to move ahead with the new airport Mumbai needed to ensure the traffic to Mumbai grows unhindered for many years even after the present airport reaches its full capacity by 2015.
Two other projects cleared in the meeting were expansion of the Nagpur airport (MIHAN) by the Centre exchanging the necessary land with the state government to start work immediately and construction of a new international green field airport for Pune at Khed by the Airports Authority of India.
As regards Mumbai’s Elevated Rail Corridor Project, which envisages an investment of Rs 20,000 crore to build additional suburban traffic capacity over 60 kms, the decision was taken to get fresh traffic study conducted, taking into account the new Mumbai metro line on the same alignment partially. Modalities on moving ahead with the project would be finalised soon after that, the officials said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare the upcoming Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) a national project and allocate sufficient funds for it.
Chavan made the plea during a meeting with the Prime Minister at the latter’s 7 Race Course Road residence in the capital on Wednesday while discussing the state’s mega infrastructure projects which are in various stages of development.
Chavan urged Singh to provide substantial central assistance to the MTHL, considered the state’s trophy infrastructure project.
The MTHL sealink will connect Mumbai island with the mainland at Raigad and is estimated to cost Rs 9,630 crore. Once completed, the 22-km sealink will provide a seamless and speedy link between Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Goa and the rest of South India.