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Unhappy PAPs could ring death knell for airport, fears CIDCO

Top CIDCO bureaucrat says that if the NMIA project fails to take off, it would be only because of villagers demand for excessive compensation; official blames their 'greed'

Navi Mumbai: With the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) still shrouded in uncertainty, a top CIDCO official said that the ‘villagers’ greed’ is holding back the ambitious project.

Plans still afoot: Sources at the planning agency said that the managing director of CIDCO, Sanjay Bhatia, is himself visiting potential bidders who have shown interest in the project. File pic
Plans still afoot: Sources at the planning agency said that the managing director of CIDCO, Sanjay Bhatia, is himself visiting potential bidders who have shown interest in the project. File pic 

Despite receiving 95 per cent clearances, CIDCO is flapping its wings over the dream project on the issue of the six villages that are not satisfied with the 22.5 per cent compensation package offered and are demanding more.

MiD DAY had reported on the issue (‘95 per cent clearances received: Navi Mumbai airport project stuck at PAP door’, November 10).

“We have been repeatedly trying to convince the villagers not to give us their land till we give them the plot, but they are not agreeing. Plain greed seems to have entered and tomorrow if ever the project gets killed, it could be very unfortunate,” said the top CIDCO official, on condition of anonymity.

Foreign interest
Although the project is in limbo, sources at the planning agency said that the managing director of CIDCO, Sanjay Bhatia, is himself visiting potential bidders who have shown interest in the project. It is believed that Zurich Airport Management has shown interest in developing the proposed NMIA.

“Yes, it’s true that Zurich Airport Management has shown interest in the project and we look at the same very positively. Although there are villages which are still opposing the compensation we are offering, we will continue the bidding,” added the CIDCO official.

Top CIDCO bureaucrats claim that with the elections around the corner, a lot of political parties are getting involved in the compensation issue, giving the entire matter a political angle.

In fact with over 95 per cent clearances already received, the only bone of contention remains the Project Affected Persons (PAPS) not agreeing to the compensation package, thereby not allowing a closure to be drawn on the proposed Greenfield NMIA.

2,268Hectares
Total area required for airport

1,160Hectares
Land required for core airport area

15Hectares
Land transferred by government 

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