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Navi Mumbai international airport runs into roadblocks - issue to be taken up with the PMO news
18 April 2008

New Delhi: The prestigious Navi Mumbai international airport project would appear to be in the doldrums with the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) rejecting the environment clearance given to the project  by the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA). Reports suggest that representatives from the ministry of civil aviation, along with other stakeholders, would seek to meet officials in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to sort out unexpected hurdles that have cropped up in the implementation of the project.

According to government sources, the MoEF has chosen to ignore recommendations of the NCZMA which cleared the project site late last year despite there being issues about a portion of the site which falls in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

It would appear that an attempt is now being made to get the principal secretary to sort out the mess.

The MoEF had rejected the environment clearance last week.

The airport is due to come up on around 2,750 acres of land in Navi Mumbai. Nearly 1,140 hectares of land is needed to accommodate two parallel runways for simultaneous, segregated flight operations with full-length taxiways on either side of the runways.

The problem with City & Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), the developers of the project, is that no other land in the area is either available, or suitable, to locate this project. Earlier, in a meeting with CIDCO officials in November, the MoEF had agreed ''in-principle'' to amend the CRZ 1 provision to accommodate the airport. Last week, for some reason, the ministry backtracked on this commitment.

CIDCO,  which is the nodal agency for the proposed airport, has already selected consultants Louis Berger for preparing the blueprint for the airport.

With the existing Mumbai international airport's facilities already under strain the MoEF's clearance is required immediately to build an airport by 2012.

The MoEF had earlier objected on the grounds that since 25% of the proposed site fell under CRZ 1, no  commercial development would be allowed.

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Navi Mumbai international airport runs into roadblocks - issue to be taken up with the PMO