International airport shifting from Chakan to Khed?

To check the technical feasibility of recently surveyed plot adjoining the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) developed by Bharat Forge in the south of Khed, as an optional site to build an international airport on, a team of experts from the central team of Civil Aviation are likely to visit the site by month-end.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said the acquisition of this optional site for building an international airport would be considered only if the committee gave its green signal for the construction.

Losing the plot? The land in Chakan that was initially selected for constructing the international airport; (above) the existing airport in Lohegaon. File Pics

The team comprises senior air force officials and officials from the Civil Aviation. “After the initial survey done by the local engineers, they gave a nod to the plot in Khed for the construction. But the region is mountainous and has patchy land on the site. This was the precise reason the state asked the experts to visit the site as soon as possible and give their opinion,” Deshmukh said.

In 2001, a plot in Chakan was identified for the construction of the international airport. But constant opposition by the villagers whose lands would be acquired for the project resulted in several delays in finalising the land for the project. As per report submitted on the ground survey conducted by the IAF in 2005, Chakan was deemed unsuitable for the construction of an international airport.

During his recent visit to the city, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the land for the airport would be acquired at locations where there would not be opposition from the farmers and a new model for compensation would introduced soon. Accordingly, a core meeting was held last week between CM, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Deshmukh and officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), wherein decision was taken to survey the site in Khed.

“Around 1,200 hectares of land is needed for the airport. If the central committee gives its nod, then the SEZ land would be acquired partially by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company,” Deshmukh said.

1,200 hectares Area required for building the international airport

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