Now, a third site proposed for airport project

In a week's time, the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) will write to the Pune Divisional Commissioner regarding a third alternative site for the proposed international airport.

A week back, the district administration, along with MADC officials, had assessed a site at Shiroli, next to the one proposed and turned down earlier near Rajgurunagar. The MADC, however, did not find the new site feasible either and later zeroed in on yet another site nearby, which it said would be the third and final site.

"We had seen the site at Shiroli. But it was found non-feasible on assessment. We will now write to the district administration and propose the third and final alternative site close to Shiroli. We have got a positive response from the chief minister for this site. It is upto the district administration to go in for land acquisition as soon as possible. If there are still any issues, we would have to go in for a totally new site," said an MADC official. The new 1,200-hectare site is spread over Chandoos, part of Kewale and part of Pimpri-Budruk.

MADC officials said plain terrain at the third site would be suitable for the airport project. "This was among the first proposed sites. When the CM was in Pune last week, he gave his approval. The main issue would be the acquisition of land now. We will be writing to the Divisional Commissioner to speed up the process," said an official.

At the recently concluded platinum jubilee celebrations of the state legislature in the city, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said the airport was an absolute necessity. He had said the administration should look into speeding up the matter. The district administration, however, said only MADC officials had assessed the new site. The Airport Authority of India, too, has to give its clearance.

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