Friday, September 04, 2020

Site change will further delay Purandar airport project: MADC officials

Pune: Senior officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) have said that shifting the site of the Purandar airport will lead to delay of more than two years in getting fresh approvals and carrying out surveys of the new site.
“It is surprising that the state government is talking about shifting the site of the proposed airport. Before the project was approved at Purandar taluka, at least two aerial surveys and a road survey were conducted. Everything was taken into consideration by the state government before earmarking the site. If the site is changed again, we will have to start from scratch again,” an MADC official told TOI.
Last week, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar told the Pune district administration to check the feasibility of developing the new Pune airport at an alternative site proposed by Purandar MLA Sanjay Jagtap. The MLA had proposed land acquisition at Pandeshwar, Rise and Pise villages, instead of the seven villages in Purandar taluka which have opposed land acquisition since the project was announced in October 2016.

Another MADC official said that the steering committee of the civil aviation ministry and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had approved the current site after conducting studies.

“The Ministry of Defence (MoD) provided the clearance, a year and a half after the airport’s announcement. The approval came with a rider that once the airport was ready, the Lohegaon facility will not be used for civil flight movement. The committees of the state government, the AAI and the Union government had scanned six sites before zeroing in on the Purandar site. With the proposed site located in Purandar, what is the guarantee that there will not be any protests again?” the official wondered.
04/09/20 Joy Sengupta/Times of India
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