AAI finds site fine for airport: Officials

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Rajgurunagar Authority to submit report to MADC; meeting with CM next week.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has cleared the site in Rajgurunagar proposed for the Pune International airport. The feasibility study has been on for a month and the survey report is to be handed over to the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC).

Officials who were part of the survey stated that the "AAI has given the green signal for the proposed site at Rajgurunagar" and that a meeting would be held with the CM next week to take the project ahead.

The site surveyed by the team included Pait, Dhamne, Raundharwadi, Askhed Budruk, Kiwle and Kurkundi villages in Rajgurunagar area. A central team had in December conducted an aerial survey in two choppers and that was followed by a detailed survey by an AAI team last month. The central team, after a recce of the areas, had given "in-principle" approval. Talks would now move on for land acquisition after the techno-feasibility study.

"The team has cleared the proposal. The survey report would be given to MADC after which a meeting will be conducted with the CM next week. The district administration would then have to initiate the land acquisition process,'' said an official. It has been decided that there would be no acquisition of irrigated land for the project.

District officials will have to initiate talks with villagers. It had been decided that the government would allocate Rs 1,000 crore for land acquisition.

"Once we have the directives, we would start talks in the area,'' said senior district officials. According to the proposal, the AAI is looking at spreading the airport across 1,200 hectares with two 4-km runways, each 60 metre wide.

The airport is scheduled to be completed by 2015. The project has been in the talk-stage for the three years and it was only last year that the state granted Rs 200 crore as seed capital, propelling the project forward. Discussion with Central authorities who met in Pune followed. The next two years would go into planning, design and environmental clearances.

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