airport-3The Navi Mumbai Intl’ Airport has received the in principle clearance of the Union Environment Ministry. The announcement has been made by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who said that the state government received MoEF’s approval this week on Wednesday and the airport will be constructed by 2012. It may be recalled that the Union ministry of environment and forests, which has given its in-principle approval to the new airport at Navi Mumbai, had in March rejected a proposal to amend the CRZ notification. MoEF had said that it would result in the destruction of mangroves as well as the reclamation of low-lying land and was ecologically unsound. It asked the CIDCO to look for an alternative site. An insight on the rejection was given by CIDCO Jt. Managing Director Deepak Kapoor in an exclusive interview with NMTV News Managing Editor Zeba Warsia. He however had voiced confidence that they would get the clearance for the airport site from the center. And to the relief of the state government and CIDCO, the Union Environment Minister has set aside its concerns after a appeal was made by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who heads the Union MoEF. The central government has framed a new draft notification which allows airport construction in this zone. The draft notification, issued on May 1, will be open to suggestions and objections for 60 days and if the government finds that the objections are substantive, then the draft could be repealed. However reliable sourced reveal that the the very fact that the government has considered such an option also suggests that the chances of getting a final nod are strong. While Mumbai badly needs a second international airport as it could reach saturation point in the coming years, development of Navi Mumbai airport is very critical if the current air traffic growth has to be sustained. With Zeba Warsia, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.


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