More hurdles for Navi Mumbai airport

EAC to visit the site in third week of October

By Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
Published: Friday 22 October 2010

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest has asked the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) to re-examine the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai. It has also asked CIDCO to conduct fresh studies on the suitability of alternative sites.

In its meeting on September 22, the EAC said that its members will visit the proposed site in the third week of October and asked CIDCO to submit fresh details on environmental aspects before that. The committee pointed out that the EIA report of the project contained incorrect data and analysis and needs to be re-examined.

The EAC said that the selection of the Navi Mumbai site is not justified on environmental grounds. CIDCO has proposed the site for the 60-million-passengers-per-annum airport in Navi Mumbai after rejecting three alternative sites near Kalyan, about 54 km from Mumbai. The EAC said the sites in Wada, Ansoli and Kalyan are more suitable than that in Navi Mumbai in terms of security, environmental costs and impacts.

The proposal by CIDCO involves cutting 97-metre-high hill and filling the airport site and raising it to 6-7 metre. The committee observed that this will change the drainage pattern of the entire region and will cause flooding in Panvel and surrounding areas. The committee asked CIDCO to study the drainage pattern of the region and come up with the results.

EAC has also asked CIDCO to revise the master plan of the project after conducting fresh studies on the effects of the phased development of the airport on the surroundings and land-use.

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