Construction of the international airport in Navi Mumbai is set for further delay as a high- level Environment Ministry panel has sought more details from the project proponents about the forest area to be diverted for its execution.
The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC),which concluded its two-day meeting here today,has sought more information about the mangrove degradation and its regeneration from project proponents City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited (CIDCO),sources said.
CIDCO has requested diversion of 250.0635 hectares of forest area for establishment of the project.
“Project is very much alive. The panel has sought some more information. It will again come for consideration in the next meeting,” a source familiar with the development told PTI.
It was in November 2010 that the long-delayed project to build a second international airport in Mumbai got the environment clearance.
As per the Environment Ministry approved Airport Master Plan,area of the proposed airport zone is about 1,405 hectares. It consists of the core area for aeronautical use (1,160 hectares) and an off-site area on Waghivali Island to be developed as mangrove park (245 hectares).
According to the CIDCO,the regeneration of mangroves is also proposed in the no development zones,comprising an area of 310 hectares at Kamothe and 60 hectares at Moha Creek.
The FAC’s new decision came days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan admitted in the state Legislative Council that the project-costs had escalated by three times.
Chavan,who was replying to a Calling Attention Motion,had said the estimated cost of the project was Rs 4,766 crore.
But it increased to Rs 14,573 crore on account of land acquisition needs and various other cost escalations,he had said. The first phase of the project would entail expenditure of Rs 9,000 crore.
Until 291 hectares of land are acquired,construction of airport cannot start,the state government had said.