New airport: Plan B ready, says Chavan
Nov 16, 2013
Source : The Times of India

MUMBAI: Even as the Prime Minister has given the go ahead for the Navi Mumbai airport in the face of opposition from certain villages, the Maharashtra Government is already working on an alternative plan for a new airport in the city to be built over reclaimed land.

This plan was announced by the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan while addressing the FICCI Real Estate Summit here on Friday. “We are working on a cashless-land-for-land formula with the villagers wherein for every hectare we acquire, we would give back 27 per cent to the project affected people in the new township called Pushpak Nagar.

According to this formula, the value of one hectare of land will be about Rs 19 crore. However, if we are not given land as per this formula, then we will build a new airport in the city by reclaiming land.”

“Though it would be difficult because of the reclaimed land falling under CRZ zone IV and there would be Environment Ministry hurdles to cross, we are going ahead with the study to be undertaken by a Dutch company,” he added.

Chavan also spoke about the proposal for extension of Juhu airport 22 km into the sea. “If you don’t get a new Mumbai airport, the city would get choked further. It already is choked and needs to grow,” he added.

Explaining his close connection with the real estate and infrastructure related development in the city, Chavan said that it was real estate (alluding to the Adarsh scam) that bought him from Delhi to Mumbai to become the Chief Minister and make Mumbai his new home.

The government would also be coming out with a new inclusive cluster policy this coming week, he said.

This would be introduced first for the city of Mumbai and followed by separate policies for Thane, Pimpri and Chinchwad subsequently.

“The idea is that instead of having pencil high building structures which seem unsafe, we want to come out with a policy on planned cluster development in the city which would include proper housing colonies with better amenities,” he added.

Mumbaikars can also look forward to a new development plan for Mumbai being developed by the BMC which would be a planned development document.

“It would be one of the most complex exercises done for any city in India and the process of preparing it has already begun. The base document on it has been launched by the Municipal Commissioner today and we hope it is made available to everyone in a pocket book format.”

On the burning issue of demolition of the Campa Cola compound, he clarified that despite his sympathies with the residents, the hands of the government were tied as the apex court’s order dated February 2013 prevented any intervention by any government agency from carrying out the order. “The Attorney General has offered to find a solution to this which would be in favour of all,” he added.

Chavan elaborated that the state government has already commissioned infrastructure projects worth Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 7,000 crore. These include Mumbai’s first metro, monorail, new eastern freeway, new cross road between Chembur and Santacruz and new elevated Sahar road.

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