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Will Pune’s dream of an international airport ever materialise?

Thursday, 5 July 2012 - 5:30pm IST | Agency: DNA
The talks for a suitable land for Pune’s international airport have been going on for a long time now. Earlier, the authorities had selected Chakan and now they have zeroed in on Khed for the ambitious project.

The talks for a suitable land for Pune’s international airport have been going on for a long time now. Earlier, the authorities had selected Chakan and now they have zeroed in on Khed for the ambitious project. The site is considered apt for the airport but any local resistance could hamper the project. So, will it get a go-ahead? Speak Up brings you opinions of citizens

Aviation ministry has to give clearance to the project
The plan of the proposed airport site at Khed is already sent to MADC (Maharashtra Airport Development Company). Experts from civil aviation department and airport authority will do the required technical scrutiny. MADC has cleared the proposal, now the clearance has to come from the aviation ministry. Hopefully, there should be no problem as the proposed site is a good choice.
—Prabhakar Deshmukh, divisional commissioner, Pune

I am not aware of any local public resistance to the site
I find the proposed site for Pune airport at Khed a little bit far from the city, but it is surely a better option than travelling all the way to Mumbai. My suggestion is that the distance can be shortened if the Aaskhed Road is stretched to Dehu Road and joined to the Pune-Mumbai highway. The access to the airport from highway will be much better and nearer than via Khed and Bhosari. The Aaskhed dam across Bhama river has no canal and the proposed area is sparsely cultivated with lots of forest area. So, the site is perfect for the airport. I am not aware of any local public resistance for the proposed site at Khed.  
–Kondibhau Mhase, resident (Kivle village, Khed Taluka)

The airport plan has been delayed for a very long time
Having an international airport for the city is a welcome move. It will be a big boost for the city’s economy. Once the airport comes up, the area around it will develop very fast. Probably it will not be good news for the immediate surrounding areas as the airport project will completely polarise that part of the area. On the whole, it is a positive development for the city because it needs an airport. The airport plan for Pune has been delayed for a very long time, I hope the plan materialises now.    
—Kiran Kalamdani, architect & urban planner

State has made budgetary provisions for Pune airport
The proposed site for international airport for Pune at Khed is still not finalised, it is under consideration. The state chief minister and deputy chief minister (DCM) are personally looking into the matter on priority basis, especially DCM Ajit Pawar is hopeful that the project will get a green signal soon. Technically, the new proposed site at Khed is a good choice, but if there is any public resistance to the project then the state will have to intervene and resolve the issue.

The airport that is coming up at Navi Mumbai will just be an extension to the existing facility at Sahar airport in Andheri. So, it will not pose any problem to the proposed Pune airport site at Khed. The airport authority has no objection to the project. The state has already made budgetary provisions for Pune airport. 
—Vinayak Nalawade, advisor, finance & admin, MADC, Mumbai


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