_Jairam-Ramesh-1He bargained and negotiated and negotiated, then stuck to his stance and then negotiated again, bargained more and finally compromised – that’s how one can describe Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s approval to Navi Mumbai airport. But no matter what how we put it, there no doubting that by giving his approval to the project, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has gifted Navi Mumbai its biggest economic boost ever. The Navi Mumbai Airport project has finally taken off and is back on track again. Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh – the one man who stood in way of the airport fighting as much as he could for environment termed the decision as a major, major compromise before gifting Navi Mumbai its biggest economic boost ever. Since the Union Ministries of Environment and Aviation and the Maharashtra Government’s CIDCO shifted their positions to meet each other half way, the country’s financial capital is all set to have a second international airport. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel came together this week to announce the clearance. CLEARED FOR TAKE OFF The Navi Mumbai airport will be built through public private partnership on 1,160 hectares of land between Panvel creek and Karnala hills. The first phase will be ready by 2015 and will cater to 10 million passengers per annum. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said that they will speed up the VITAL STATISTICS * It will be built through Public-Private Partnership on 1160 hectares of land between Panvel creek and Karnala hills. * Estimated cost is Rs 9,600 crore. Will cater to 10 million passengers / year by 2015, 45 million passengers / year by 2025, and a total of 60 million passengers / year by 2030. * The Greenfield Airport will have two runways. It capable of handling aircraft as large as Airbus 380. * It will have parking space for about 104 aircrafts, aerobridges for 77 and cargo capacity of 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. * A special Bus Rapid Transit system will be created on the proposed Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link. THE HIGHS * Under the new plan, non-essential airport facilities will be moved away. * This will spare 245 hectares of good quality mangroves (to be saved). * Gadhi River will not be diverted as distance between two runways has been reduced from 1,800 metres to 1,555 metres. * About 310 hectares eco-area on airport site will be declared a

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