The Navi Mumbai international airport may not come about at all, with even the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) wanting it “scrapped”.
“The project may have to be scrapped as it has become unfeasible,” Cidco joint managing director V Radha said.
“More than 10 years have been wasted in discussions. The project cost has escalated from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore. We cannot afford any more delays,” Radha said at a function in Chinchpada village in Uran tehsil recently.
The state urban development department already wants the project scrapped. It has even proposed alternative sites like Chakan near Pune and Murbad in Thane district.
Cidco has been the only stakeholder keen on the project.
The broad contours of the project’s fate was seen a couple of months ago with the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) raising many objections.
The PAPs have been demanding a compensation of 40% developed plot under the state’s Gaothan Exchange Scheme (GES), since the government has ruled out monetary compensation.
The government termed this demand unreasonable as the maximum compensation given to other PAPs in Navi Mumbai is 12.5% of developed land.
The PAPs had even rejected a government offer of 22.5%.
The other PAPs are those from whom land was acquired for building the city of Navi Mumbai some 30 years ago. At that time, they were compensated with 12.5% of developed land.
Though Cidco has been negotiating hard on land acquisition, sources said the government has been “deliberately” delaying it as it wants the project shifted to another site.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been saying the hard stance by the land owners could cost the project dear. “The adamant attitude of PAPs has been the main reason for the delay,” he said last week.
The PAPs have also been changing their demand. They recently demanded a compensation of Rs 20 crore for each acre of land.
Sources say there is a reason to this. “If the airport does not come up, their land is of little value since most of it falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone and cannot be utilised for any other development. They are literally holding the government to ransom,” a source said.
Read a dna exclusive: Some want Navi Mumbai airport scrapped, others want to dream on