After more than a decade-long delay, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday declared Purandar as the site for the proposed international greenfield airport for Pune district, ending all speculations on the site for the airport. The confusion over the site has finally ended with the Chief Minister declaring in Pune that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has also given an “in-principle approval for the proposed site” at Purandar taluka in the district.
Two weeks back, a 15-member team comprising AAI members, Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), revenue officials had conducted a review of the Purandar site in villages—Pargaon Memane, Ikhatpur, Rajewadi and Waghapur. The team had found the site most appropriate for the airport.
Replying to a question by The Indian Express, the Chief Minister said that four days back, the AAI has given the approval. So now, the site has been approved and confirmed, he said. “We would carry out the necessary technical surveys for the site as it has been cleared by the AAI and we have got a positive feedback from the people who seem to willing to part with their land for the airport,” he said.
Asked about the next step, he said, the MADC would have a meeting in the next eight days and take the necessary steps towards finalising the site. The CM is the chairman of the board of MADC.
On the rehabilitation model and the package to be given to villagers, he said, “All models will be studied and a timeline will be prepared, a detailed project report will be planned.”
The project was delayed for over a decade due to non-availability of land and the ambiguity remained whether the airport will come up at Khed’s Chakan or Rajgurunagar for long.
The CM, who was keen to take forward the project, had his team do a recce twice in the first two weeks of September to zero-in on the site. He said that no land acquisition will be done without the consent of people.
Water resources minister Vijay Shivtare said that people were willing to give up the land for the project and welcomed the project in the area.
According to the administration, the airport will have two runways and is likely to be developed in a public-private partnership basis with MADC.
“The Cochin Airport model has been taken up for assessment,” stated officials from the district administration.
Considering the volume of air traffic at the sole defence airport in Pune, the proposed international airport was necessary with many firms showing interest in investment options in the district.