Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said after a meeting,to review the rehabilitation of slumdwellers around the Mumbai airport,that the exercise would take three years,while,the civil aviation minister Praful Patel reiterated that the new airport would be located in Navi Mumbai.
The meeting was called to discuss the rehabilitation of slums,to facilitate the critical expansion of the existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). Chavan said that about 80,000 families have to be rehabilitated for the expansion of CSIA.
About 17,000 families around the airport area would be rehabilitated in Kurla area within two-three months in the first phase and the remaining will be completed in three years, said Chavan. A separate authority to deal with appeals on rehabilitation will be set up even as MMRDA looks for alternate sites for rehabilitation,he said.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel reiterated that Navi Mumbai was the only location for the new airport in Mumbai,after his meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and the local leaders in Mumbai.
The site in Navi Mumbai,identified by the state government,has been questioned by the environment ministry raising concerns over the diversion of two rivers,cutting of a hillock and causing damage to 400 acres of mangroves. Alternate sites of Kalyan,Rewas-Mandwa are also being discussed after a delegation of MPs met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh last week.
Skirting these voices,Patel said,Navi Mumbai is the only site approved by the ministry for the new airport,there is no question of an alternative site. Talks about Kalyan and Rewas-Mandawa sites for the airport are not possible.
Referring to the meeting of the Environment Appraisal Committee,of the Environment Ministry in Delhi,on Friday to discuss green clearance for the new airport,Chavan said,There is positive feedback from the meeting. There are certain issues which need to be discussed,I am yet to speak to the officials in Delhi.