State Affairs

No green nod yet for smart city around Navi Mumbai airport

MUMBAI: The proposed new airport at Navi Mumbai has hit a minor hurdle with the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) withholding clearances for the Pushpak Nagar layout, a greenfield smart city around the airport.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of India, which is the planning authority for the Navi Mumbai airport, is now considering tweaking the rehabilitation plan for the Pushpak Nagar layout to avoid further delays, reports The Hindu.

Pushpak Nagar is an important component of the airport project. The layout has a population of 30,000 with nearly 1,200 families eligible under the rehabilitation plan proposed by the government. Land prices in the vicinity have lately shot up to more than Rs. 10 crore for an acre in view of the proposed airport.

“We will have to now provide them [land owners] developed plot elsewhere as part of the 22.5% formula of compensation agreed to by the State government,” said a senior CIDCO official.

The corporation has already acquired nearly 700 acres from the villagers, but the layout has about 56 acres of forest land, which needed clearances from the MoEF. About 1,200 families in the layout are eligible for alternative location under the 22.5% compensation formula.

Under the compensation plan, it is proposed that each land owner receives 22.5% area of the plot size surrendered in an alternative location which is fully developed with requisite infrastructure.

While the CIDCO has received all other clearances from the MoEF for the entire airport project in 2013, it was hoping for a Stage Two clearance from the ministry to rehabilitate the project affected persons (PAPs). “We are hoping this would not delay the airport plan, while we continue to search for alternative locations,” said an official.

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