• Pune to get new greenfield international airport at Purandar

    Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved land at Purandar for a new greenfield international airport for Pune.

    The proposed airport will be spread over 2,400 hectares and the site has already been approved by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Fadnavis told reporters in Mumbai on Thursday after attending a meeting of the Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC). The airport would commence in three years, he said.

    Fadnavis announced that the new airport would be named after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje as Purandar was his birthplace. “We decided to grant permissions for carry ing out a detailed project report (DPR) as well as an obstacle limitation surface survey for the proposed site,“ the chief minister said.

    “The site is around 15-20 km away from Pune city . Located on the south of the city, the proposed airport will be connected with six different routes including national highways 4 and 17. There will be a special ring-road connecting major industrial establishments with the proposed airport from Hadapsar. The proposed airport will have two airstrips, each having a length of 4 km. It will handle cargo along with passenger traffic,“ Fadnavis said.

    Asked about earlier proposed sites like Chakan and Rajgurunagar, Fadnavis said except Purandar, no other site has been approved by the AAI.“Most of the farmers have expressed their willingness for the project (at Purandar). The farmers whose land will be acquired for the project will become partners in the airport developing company which will ensure some steady inco me source for them. This model has been used in the state earlier for land acquisition of the (proposed) Navi Mumbai International Airport,“ Fadnavis said.

    Asked about the proposed airport in Kolhapur, Fadnavis said “The state government is spending Rs 40 crore for this airport and it will be a domestic one.“ A new airport for Pune was proposed more than a decade ago but the project has been delayed for want of suitable land. Two weeks back, a 15-member team comprising revenue officials and representatives from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and MADC had conducted a review of the Purandar site in villages Pargaon Memane, Ikhatpur, Rajewadi and Waghapur. The team had found the site most appropriate for the airport.

    The AAI has since given its in-principle approval to the site and the state now has to initiate the process for land acquisition. Keanu Neal Jersey

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