Pune’s new airport takes off with Rs 200 cr allocation

The state government on Tuesday allocated Rs 200 crore in the first phase for the proposed international airport at Rajgurunagar in Pune district, giving a push to the much delayed project.

The first phase funds are meant for acquisition of 1,800 hectares of land — 1,200 hectares for two runways, and 600 for amenities, commercial development, and to be returned to project-affected residents under the buyback policy.

The project, spread over villages of Koye, Dhamne, Pait, Raundharwadi and Askhed Budruk, is estimated by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) to cost Rs 1,000 crore.

Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh, who attended a meeting called by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his deputy Ajit Pawar in Mumbai on Tuesday, said that MADC would develop the land acquired by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). "The technical team has visited the area and will return next week for demarcation. The notification will be issued next month," Deshmukh said.

The meeting was also attended by Collector Vikas Deshmukh, the state revenue secretary, and managing director of MADC.

The government had zeroed in on the Rajgurunagar site some 37 km from Pune city after looking at various other options. In its proposal submitted to the government, MADC, the nodal agency to develop the airport, sought 2,700 hectares, at least Rs 1,000 crore for intial land acquisition, and Rs 40 crore to commission a techno-feasibility study of the area. The district administration initially identified 1,600 hectares to the west of the earlier proposed site at Chakan, followed by an another 200 hectares.

The proposed airport will benefit the districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Ahmednagar and Beed.

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