The Navi Mumbai international airport project got a shot in the arm with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promising to `personally’ look into the matter and expedite the process. The Prime Minister’s assurance came during his meeting with a group of parliamentarians from Mumbai. Work on the proposed airport has been stalled for want of environmental clearances. The MPs had knocked on the PM’s door to seek his intervention in the imbroglio. The PM’s favourable response to sort out the Navi Mumbai Airport tangle assumes significance as he had in 2009, when he also held additional charge of the ministry of environment and forest, passed a policy that spells out in great detail all the terms and conditions for the construction of greenfield airports. With the Mumbai airport almost reaching saturation point, MPs, cutting across party lines, last week formed a forum-Mumbai Metropolitan Region Parliamentarian-to push for the Navi Mumbai airport. Navi Mumbai MP Sanjiv Naik, who led the delegation, said that they apprised the PM of the situation and told him that Navi Mumbai airport is needed to decongest traffic. Co-convener of the forum and MP from South Mumbai, Milind Deora, said that the plan has run into rough weather as it is still awaiting a no objection certificate from the MoEF. NCP MP Supriya Sule said that Mumbai definitely needed another airport and the delay was taking a toll on the city’s economic growth. The proposed airport will come up at Panvel and will be constructed by CIDCO. Though the Union government and many other departments have approved the proposal in principle, the MoEF, led by Jairam Ramesh, is yet to give its nod. Meanwhile, civil aviation minister Praful Patel has expressed strong displeasure over the manner in which the MoEF has delayed his dream project. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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