THE first runway and terminal building of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) could be completed before the deadline of December 2019, said officials of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the nodal agency for the proposed airport.
Major groundwork on the construction work for the airport, which received its Stage II environment clearance last week, could begin soon.
The proposed airport will take the load off the severely-congested Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai, it is expected. The clearance was needed to commence major construction works in the forest areas of the site.
“With the environmental clearance received, we aim to begin the work at the earliest. We are hoping to complete the work of the first runway and the terminal building of the airport till the stated deadline. The work on the other runway could take time because major changes are required to clear its terrain in comparison to the first runway,”
said Bhushan Gagrani, MD, CIDCO.
The airport is expected to handle 10 million passengers annually upon its start and gradually, cater to 60 million passengers a year by 2030, when it will reach full capacity.
In February, GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd, which runs the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports, won the right to build the airport.
“As far as commercial operations are concerned, that will take another six to eight months to commence after the runway is made,” Gagrani said.
“We will be finalising a date to conduct the Project Monitoring Implementation Committee (PMIC) meet by early next week so that GVK could finally attain its state cabinet nod and we could officially hand in our Letter of Intent on commencing the work to them,” he added.
However, the monsoons could pose a problem in commencing the work by this year, sources from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said.
“No actual work on the site can take place during the four months of monsoon which is only two months away. We have also not received our official letter of confirmation, which was expected to be in place by March 15, in order to begin work on the project. Clearing the terrain remains a major work,” said an MIAL official.
CIDCO officials said work on the hill cutting and filling of land to divert the Ulwe river would start right away and be completed in 18-24 months.
While ground work on the non-forest areas had already begun, work in the forest area could also begin in full steam.
The major work now remains to be done is to rehabilitate the project-affected families. The officials said their shifting would be a simultaneous process, along with the construction work of the airport.
“According to the contract, some PAPs would help us with 50 per cent of the rock cutting, and earth filling work will be completed soon. The rehabilitation of 20,000 people belonging to 3,500 families will be done at the same time,” said a CIDCO official.