Farmers to get good rates but funding ‘could be a problem’

To speed up land acquisition process for the proposed airport at Rajgurunagar,farmers will now get new land rates,thus forcing the govt to shell out more money.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Published: July 5, 2012 3:58:28 am

To speed up land acquisition process for the proposed airport at Rajgurunagar,farmers will now get new land rates,thus forcing the govt to shell out more money.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had said the proposed airport would come up in Rajgurunagar,adjacent to the earlier site,and enough funds would be made available for the project.

A senior member of the civil aviation department in the state,however,said the series of RBI repo and reverse repo rate hikes has made funding a problem. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said farmers will be given good rates to take the project forward.

“This is a serious problem and even as land acquisition issues are being sorted out,the rates will have to be decided very carefully,’’ said the senior official.

The government had earlier announced Rs 200 crore for the earlier proposed site and to give the money in two phases. At a recent press meet,when Pawar was asked about fund allocation,he said the government would work it out. “Whatever funds are needed,we would provide it to take the project forward,’’ Pawar had said.

The project requires around Rs 7,500 crore. Officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC),which will implement the project,said the proposal sent to the government had sought 2,700 hectares. The new plan envisages the project in Koye,Dhamne,Pait and Raudharwadi villages of Rajgurunagar. The MADC has demanded Rs 1,000 crore for initial land acquisition and other formalities and Rs 40 crore for appointment of consultants for a techno-feasibility study.

Meanwhile,the MADC is hoping that funds for the project will be allocated soon. The proposed airport would also benefit Satara,Sangli,Kolhapur,Solapur,Ahmednagar and Beed districts. For the earlier proposed site at Chandoos and Shiroli villages in Chakan,the government had sanctioned Rs 200 crore to appoint a project consultant.

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had acquired 2,565 hectares in 2006 for the airport,but transferred it to MADC in 2008. The project was caught in a deadlock as farmers opposed acquisition of irrigated land.

The Chief Minister had also met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh recently to discuss various issues pertaining to the state,including new projects and upgrade of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. He had cleared that land acquisition should be done on time or the chances would be bleak for the airport to start functioning by 2014.

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