Obstacle clearance survey for airport project begins today

Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) officials arrived on Thursday to start the obstacle clearance survey for the proposed international airport in Chakan-Rajgurunagar area in Khed taluka of the district, even as villagers of Dhamne staged a protest.

Officials who arrived to inspect the area said they are seeking police protection for the survey, which will begin on Friday

"We have the local administration and police helping us. We will be conducting the survey for the villages listed. The obstacle survey will be conducted and the final report readied in a month's time,'' said MADC officials.

On Thursday, during the protest, district officials were there in Khed to control the situation.

"This survey will take a month. We will provide all support for the survey,'' said a district official.

State government officials had given an "in principle" approval for the site and the techno-feasibility study and obstacle survey was proposed after that. "We are making sure no irrigated land will be taken up for the airport and so the villagers need not worry,'' said district officials.

The airport construction is being targeted to begin in 2015. Earlier, an aerial survey as conducted by officials for the proposed airport.

"Once the obstacle survey is completed and the clearance is given, the official land acquisition by the district administration can commence,'' said an MADC official.

The MADC is looking to complete the report by February. The meeting also proposed that rehabilitation be done in the same belt.

In Khed taluka, the Shiroli, Dhamne, Koye, Pait and Raundharwadi villages are being assessed by a team conducting a techno-feasibility study.

The government had decided to allocate Rs 1,000 crore for land acquisition for the project and Rs 200 crore was granted as seed money.

The proposed airport will have two parallel runways of 6-km each. Two years will go into planning, design and environmental clearances and it will not be before 2015 that the actual construction will start, said an official.

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