AirportThough the International Civil Aviation Organization has cleared the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai after 15 years of its proposal, for the project to take off, there are still several problems to be solved. Villagers of nearly 15 villages that will have to be relocated are forming a protest committee to ensure that they do not become victims of CIDCO’s injustice like the other PAPs of the city. Last month, setting aside the speculations of technical feasibility of the proposed airport, the International Civil Aviation Organization has given the green signal for the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai. For the last six months, the ICAO was conducting the feasibility aspect of the proposed Navi Mumbai airport on this technical aspect. Now the Maharashtra government is gearing up to identify builders to build the new airport, which will have 74% stake with private consortia while the rest evenly split between the state government and Airports Authority of India. The airport will be built for an expenditure of Rs 2500-3000 Crore, with two runways connected by the 22.5-km Sewri-Nhava trans harbor link. Since the Mumbai airport cannot be expanded, Navi Mumbai was the only option left. The airport will be built over 950 hectares. Even though the decks are clear for the ambitious project, the future of more than 14,000 families living in over 12 villages across the proposed site is uncertain. The centuries-old civilization of the Agri and Koli communities is on the brink of collapse. The woes of the project-affected people (PAP) living in villages such as Wagghal, Chinchpada, Kopar, Ovale, Waghiwali, Targhar, Moha and Dapoli are unending. The nearly 25, 000 villagers fear they might face the same fate as their counterparts of other villages in Navi Mumbai who still await PAP land allotment by CIDCO. So far CIDCO has still not met the villagers or invited them for any discussions. The villagers say that first CIDCO will have to show the rehabilitation and compensation for land plans and only then, will they let CIDCO acquire the land. Villagers say that unlike the Navi Mumbai project, they will not let CIDCO buy their land for peanuts. The least they want is Rs. 40 Lakhs per acre, employment to PAPs and compensate land under the state’s 12.5% scheme. The villagers know that they have to put up a big fight to have their demands met by CIDCO. A few leaders are going from village to village creating awareness. They will soon form a committee that will meet CIDCO with their demands.


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