Villagers refuse to move, Navi Mumbai airport may miss new deadline

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had last week said that the deadline for first take-off from the airport is being renewed to mid-2020 from the earlier deadline of December 2019.

Published: 22nd January 2019 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2019 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) is likely to miss its second deadline as people from four project-affected villages have declined to relocate.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had last week said that the deadline for first take-off from the airport is being renewed to mid-2020 from the earlier deadline of December 2019.

However, affected people from four villages have refused to relocate citing inadequacies in infrastructure at the site chosen for relocation.

The state-owned City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), which is the nodal agency for the first green-field international airport project in the country, had given January 15 as the deadline for relocation.

However, villagers from Kombadbhuje, Targhar, Ulwa and Ganeshpuri have defied the deadline.

Apart from basic amenities, the villagers have demanded demarcation of land plots to be allotted to as part of the compensation package. The CIDCO is not ready with it.

A total of 671 hectares of land from 10 villages is being acquired for the airport project.

The affected people were assured plots to build homes, choice of developer, money for construction of houses at the market rate apart from compensation in multiples of market rates for their existing properties. They were also offered rents for 18 months in advance for relocation.

However, the villagers said that most of the assurances have remained only on paper.

Discontinued air routes may resume

Five discontinued air routes in Maharashtra will be resumed under UDAN by February 13, officials said. Under the scheme, nine airports — Nashik, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nanded, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Amravati, Gondiya — were selected. In all, 28 routes were to be started in the state.

But only six routes are currently operational. The government is planning to re-start the Mumbai-Nashik, Mumbai-Jalgaon, Mumbai-Kolhapur, Mumbai-Solapur and Nashik-Pune routes. Services on these routes had failed to take off

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