Thursday, January 14, 2021

Maharashtra nod sought for new Purandar airport location



Pune: Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao has written to the principal secretary of civil aviation seeking the state government’s intervention to shift the proposed international airport at Purandar to a new site, about 10km away from existing one which has seen agitations by villagers.

Rao told TOI, “I have sent a proposal for shifting the site to a place comprising Mavdi, Pimpri, Rajuri, Naugaon, Rise-Pise and Pandeshwar villages.”

A report prepared by the district collector mentions that the percentage of irrigated land in these villages was much less than at the existing site.

Rao’s letter stated that a proposal for an alternative site was sought after meetings held by the civil aviation and defence officials last month. Pune collector Rajesh Deshmukh and his officials were told to prepare a report for a new site in the same area.

The divisional commissioner said Deshmukh submitted a report as per the recommendation of the sub-divisional officer of Daund-Purandar to consider the site 10km away from the place identified earlier for the airport. The collector’s report mentioned that the percentage of irrigated land was less in Mavadi, Pimpri, Rajuri, Naygaon, Rise-Pise and Pandeshwar villages and so land acquisition would be easier for the project.

The Purandar airport project was announced in October 2016. The site proposed earlier for it covered seven villages and 2,823 hectares of land. But the agitation of the villagers stalled the land acquisition process and so alternative sites were considered, the divisional commissioner’s letter stated.

Purandar MLA Sanjay Jagtap has been strongly recommending a change of site of the delayed project. He had recently met defence minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi.

14/01/21 Nisha Nambiar/Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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