AFTER A decade-long wait, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the name of the proposed international airport —Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport, Purandar — and gave it a timeline of three years from today at the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) board meeting held on Thursday. Incidentally, this is the same deadline set for Navi Mumbai airport announced some days back by the CM at a function.
The Chief Minister had earlier in Pune given the go-ahead for the Purandar site at a function a week back and had stated that the board meeting would finalise the same. Asked about the airport by The Indian Express on Thursday, the Chief Minister replied that the Navi Mumbai airport land acquisition will be adopted through partnership pattern. “We will be acquiring 2,400 hectare of land with two runways of 4 km each and cargo facility terminal will be created and the name will be Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport,” he said.
The Chief Minister and Chairman of MADC make this announcement. The airport named was decided taking into consideration the fact that Purandar is the birthplace of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje. In the meeting, he also gave a go-ahead for an obstacle survey and Detailed Project Report (DPR) to be carried out at the site. Vice Chairman MADC Vishwas Patil said that the CM had set a three-year deadline for the project. “We have been allotted Rs 50-60 lakh for the obstacle survey while Rs 10 crore has been allotted to the Detailed Project Report (DPR),” said Patil. He said that the survey would be carried out for a month and the main areas would be Pargaon Memane and Munjawadi.
District Collector Saurabh Rao said they are happy that the project has been cleared in the board meeting and said that he was given six months for land acquisition process. “The land acquisition model will be pro-farmer and pro-people and we would have such models replicated. My staff will initiate talks with the villagers before going in for any kind of negotiations and the process will be initiated by only taking people into confidence,” he said.
He added that while the survey will take a month and commence from October 10, the DPR should take about two to three months. Earlier, the Collector had proposed the Cochin airport model for rehabilitation, which is again pro-people. The MADC and Airport Authority of India had surveyed the two villages, Pargaon Memane and Munjwadi and had found it suitable. The Chief Minister also made a special mention of Water Resources minister Vijay Shivtare for having taken the initiative to convince the villagers in Purandar. Shivtare when asked by The Indian Express said that the people of Purandar want the project and they have been told that it will not be a forceful acquisition and it will bring about more development in their area. MP Anil Shirole in his written statement congratulated the Chief Minister for having taken the initiative and pushing ahead the pending airport for the city.
“The new Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj International Airport will be an impetus for Pune’s smart city tag and push for further development and investments,’’ he said. The project was delayed for over a decade due to unavailability of land and it was twice almost decided at the Khed’s Chakan and Rajgurunagar till the administration put forth an alternative land site at Purandar. Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat also appreciated the name proposed for the airport and welcomed the move.