THE REHABILITATION of 3,500 families affected by the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) will be completed by April next year, officials of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) said. With the officials reaching a consensus about the project-affected families at a meeting on Friday, officials said they aim to complete the rehabilitation work within three to six months.
CIDCO officials are working on the cutting of a hill in Ulwe, at the airport site, among other works being undertaken to clear the area.
The work that was suspended for the past two weeks, due to the absence of required security and Diwali break, resumed on Saturday, officials said. “We resumed the work in full swing on Saturday. We are working on the blasting work of the Ulwe hill, which would take at least one-and-a-half years. The work will continue under the presence of the police. As directed by the chief minister, the presence of 500 police personnel has been promised to us,” a senior CIDCO official said.
Officials said discussions between the villagers and CIDCO officials were fruitful. “We did face certain hindrances while carrying out evacuation. But we spoke to most of the villagers at an individual level on Friday. We have tried to agree to most of their demands,” a senior CIDCO official said.
Officials said villagers had raised concern over the accommodation being offered.
“The villagers are being offered accommodation, not far from their existing occupied spaces. Many of them hail from the Koli community and thus, they had certain specific demands. We have assured them that a detailed discussion on all of their demands would be held,” an official said.
The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) that won the bid for developing the infrastructure for the NMIA was given the Letter of Award by CIDCO on Wednesday. While it is expected to seek financiers for the project and aim to complete financial closure in the next four months, the officials are optimistic about the availability of land for development.
“CIDCO is confident of handling things. Nobody is against development, including the affected families. We are positive about them taking care of things before we start our ground work,” a MIAL official said.
CIDCO officials have promised to set up a Rs 1 crore fund and grant each of the 10 villages 1,000 square feet of land to construct a temple. The Urban Development Department has promised to consider revaluation of the earlier approved construction sum of 1,000 per square feet. Officials also said 200 people had already applied for the 18-month rental scheme introduced by CIDCO in October.
Officials added that of the 2,771 plots to be given, 1,977 are ready and the remaining would be ready in the next three months.
“We aim to complete rehabilitation of the 3,500 project-affected families by April next year,” Bhushan Gagrani, the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of CIDCO, said.
The NMIA will ease the load of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport that sees movement of 48 flights every hour. The state government hopes to see the first flight operating from NMIA by 2019.