The city Industrial and Development Corporation (CIDCO) has claimed that it would have to wait till the end of the monsoon for around half of the families, affected by the construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), to move to Pushpak Nagar — the designated spot where such families are supposed to shift. Out of the 3,000-odd affected families, at least 1,300 have shifted till now. Many of those who are yet to shift have assured to do so after Ganeshotsav.
The NMIA, being built by GVK group, is expected to see its first flight in December 2019. The authorities plan to make the southern runway functional by next year. From the 10 affected villages, more than 60 per cent of the families in at least five villages have started to shift. “Among the 3,000 affected families, at least 1,300 have shifted. The rest have assured us that they will start shifting after the monsoon. They are also waiting for Ganeshotsav, which ends on September 23,” a senior CIDCO official said.
According to the norms of the rehabilitation policy in this case, the families have to pull down their houses and sign an agreement, thereby making them entitled to receive compensation. The CIDCO has offered rental stay, plots and compensation amount to the families as part of the package. Till July 7, the families giving away their land for the project were being offered Rs 500 per sq ft.
“We are especially focusing on families from the five villages that need to shift to make way for the southern runway. Among these, we are facing maximum resistance from Varchaole village… we are confident they will give the land,” the CIDCO official said. However, residents of Varchaole village said they are unhappy with the plots they have been offered. “We want CIDCO to provide us with all necessities, including water, schools and hospitals. Without the same, the locals would not be ready to move,” said Mahendra Patil, a villager.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on Thursday allowed CIDCO to divert 22.5 hectares in Pushpak Nagar. The CIDCO is required to lay water pipes and build schools on the forest land for the affected families. As of now, CIDCO has diverted 250 hectares of forest land for the project.