Navi Mumbai airport may get approval

“No more clarifications are needed from CIDCO. We will give our recommendations to the ministry within the next two to three days,” said Naresh Dayal, chair of the expert appraisal committee, while speaking to reporters after the panel’s meeting here on Wednesday.

The proposed airport was a bone of contention between the Union Environment Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry over the last two years. While the Civil Aviation Ministry said it was the best location for Mumbai’s second airport, the Environment Ministry objected to this argument, citing major ecological damages like diversion of two rivers and the destruction of a hillock and a large tract of mangrove.

Under the revised proposal one river (Gadhi) and a sizeable part of 400 acres of mangrove forest would be left untouched, while the other river (Ulwe) will be diverted and the 90 metre hillock will have to be destroyed to make space for the second runway. The allied components like shopping mall and hotels will be shifted to a different location.

CIDCO officials also indicated that they are positive about an approval as no further issues remained pending, after months of going back and forth trying to formulate a project proposal that will meet the green norms.

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