Cargo hub plan awaits AAI response

A month after the district collector instructed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials in Pune to submit a proposal for acquisition of land for a cargo hub and other infrastructure near the Lohegaon airport, there has been no response in the matter so far. The cargo hub has been a long pending demand to facilitate movement of international cargo.

District land acquisition officers told The Indian Express that the airport authorities were supposed to get back to the district administration with the proposal. "They have not reverted. We are waiting for them to submit it so that we can help them in acquisition of land,'' said the district land acquisition officer. Airport officials, when asked, said they have forwarded the proposal to the Mumbai office of the AAI. "We are awaiting the final approval from them to submit it to the collector," said Pune Airport director PSR K Sudhakar.

The collector had stated that a recent survey had identified around eight acres near the airport. A meeting that followed between the airport authorities and the district administration officials last month had proposed that the airport put forward a proposal for the same and the district administration would help in land acquisition.

The AAI plan was to start a cargo hub and other facilities. They had been facing shortage of space. He said post discussion, they had identified the land and as per law, AAI was to submit a proposal for acquisition to the district administration. "Unless they give us a proposal, we will not be able to go ahead,'' the official said.

District officials had maintained that to avoid complications in acquisition they were not going to disclose the location and there were no other projects coming up on the land.

According to district officials, airport authorities had demanded 10 acres, half for the cargo complex and the remaining half for a residential complex. The officials were asked to cut down demand.

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