Early settlers of the city know that Intl’ Airport is a promise that CIDCO has been making for over 2 decades now but only last month the corporation got the principle approval for an airport from the center. However, the mission is far from being accomplished, as the airport is yet to get its environment clearance report. And for this CIDCO has removed the board of Gadhi River from the site. We bring to you details of this shocker with our weekend exclusive. CIDCO also wants to have its way by hook or crook, though it is more of the latter way most times. Once again showcasing its alleged crooked ways, CIDCO has removed the board from the Gadhi River that gave technical details about the river. The board was stationed at this particular location on the Kalamboli Uran Road. With CIDCO getting the in-principle approval to the airport from the center last month, the next step is getting the environment clearance. Two agencies have been appointed for environment clearance. They are IIT Powai and Central Waste and Power Research Center. Both the agencies are expected to visit the airport site soon and just before their visit, the board with details of Gadhi River has gone missing. Without the board, sources allege that CIDCO and the environment assessors can connive to present the river a creek in the report. More than 20 years – that is how long the city has been waiting for the airport promised by CIDCO to become a reality. And if sources in the CIDCO are to be believed, the airport plan will remain only on papers for another couple of decades, atleast. So far CIDCO has received just one letter from the Center giving it in-principle approval for the airport. While two major hurdles that continue to haunt the project are land acquisition and environment clearance. CIDCO has failed to do justice to PAPs in the past. Its failed 12.5% scheme is one of the reasons why villagers that will be affected by new CIDCO projects like the airport do not trust CIDCO one bit. And refuse to give their lands to CIDCO. Another problem remains the environment clearance report. Sources reveal that in the past two international agencies have giving thumbs down to the airport site stating that it is not a feasible location for an airport. CIDCO hushed up those reports. These reports voiced concerns about the flooding that will take place in Panvel once Gadhi river is filled and the entire site is elevated for making an airport. Already when Kalamboli floods after a few hours of rain, it takes hours for the water to flush out. At a recent press conference, when we posed these concerns to CIDCO Managing Director G S Gill, he dodged the subject. The MD was not sure about when the project is likely to begin. In fact, with all the global warming effects seen in the last three years in the city, if Gadhi River is filled, flooding will be a common occurrence. The environment report will not only decide the fate of the airport but if issued in all its fairness, might also save the city from a disaster that can cause loss to life and property beyond imagination. With Rajeev Mishra, Zeba Warsia for Navi Mumbai News.
September 6, 2006
March 20, 2008