Construction of Navi Mumbai Airport Might Exceed 2019 Deadline
The Navi Mumbai airport is likely to miss its 2019 deadline.
Nearly six months after the GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Ltd won the contract to build and operate the new airport for Rs 16,000 crore, the government is yet to clear the validity of its bid.
“The bid is before the Cabinet for final approval and a letter of allotment. In any case, we would be handing over the site to GVK after the pre-development work is completed,” said Bhushan Gagrani, vice chairman and managing director of City and Industrial Development Corporation.
Airport Might Start Functioning by March 2024
CIDCO is the implementing agency. The pre-development work will take about 18 months, said Gagrani. It includes diverting a river, shifting extra high-voltage lines and flattening a hill into a plateau that will be 5.5 metres above the sea level. The work would cost the corporation about Rs 3,000 crore, Gagrani said.
The government has not appointed the Project Management and Implementation Committee to approve the validity of GVK's bid, senior CIDCO and GVK officials told BloombergQuint requesting anonymity. The reasons for the delay are not clear. BloombergQuint’s emailed queries to the state government did not receive any response.
The airport is unlikely to commence operations before March 2024, by when congestion at the existing airport in the city will become severe, PTI reported quoting aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.
The Mumbai airport, which handled 45.2 million passengers in the last financial year, has been facing a capacity crunch. According to CAPA, the airport will reach its maximum design capacity of 48 million by March.
“The economic loss to the city and the region is massive as a result, causing the loss of thousands of jobs and fundamentally undermining Mumbai's potential as a major regional aviation hub,” according to CAPA report.
New Airport Will Handle 60 Million Passengers
“These effects are little short of tragic – and completely avoidable,” CAPA said.
Once fully operational, the Navi Mumbai airport will handle 60 million passengers a year, according to information on CIDCO’s website.
The other major task is rehabilitation and resettlement of the project affected people. There are about 3,000 households in 10 villages near the site. These people would be shifted to six sites, selected by the villagers about three years ago.
“There is no problem as such. The sites are ready and people have already started shifting,” said Gagrani. Due to the monsoon, they needed more time and about 100 families have already moved, he said.
(This article was originally published on BloombergQuint)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)