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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Proposed international airport at Chakan in Pune remains a non-starter

Almost six months after the state cabinet gave its nod to the Rs 200-crore seed money for the proposed international airport near Chakan, the agency implementing the project the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has yet to receive the money

The seed money is critical for the appointment of a project consultant and acquisition of the project land that is spread over 3,300 hectares covering seven villages near Chakan.

Speaking to TOI on Tuesday, MADC general manager (airports) Ramesh Yaul said, "The land acquisition process will begin only when we get the seed money from the government. This has not happened so far."

The MADC a special purpose vehicle (SPV) initially raised for the multi-modal hub for international cargo and airport at Nagpur (Mihan) came in the picture in May last year when the government decided to transfer the airport project from its infrastructure development agency, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), to MADC.

The MIDC had till then notified 2,565 hectares of land near Chakan and shortlisted two agencies for the techno-economic feasibility study and topographic survey and investigation, to facilitate the appointment of a project consultant. Based on MIDC's proposal, Pune's district collector had also started the process for acquiring land in the seven villages Chandus, Shiroli, Waki-Budruk, Koregaon-Budruk, Kiwale, Pimpri Thakur and Wadgaon.

Following the handover to the MADC, the entire cycle had to begin afresh, starting with the appointment of a consultant to fresh notification of land (since revised to 3,300 hectares as per MADC's preliminary report filed in July last year) and eventual implementation.

The project will also have to secure fresh clearances from the Union ministries of civil aviation, defence, environment and forest besides the director general of civil aviation. "Unless we appoint a consultant and get all the technical matters examined through the consultant's report, we cannot seek these fresh clearances," said Yaul.

To read more, please, visit The Times of India

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