When the international airport project readied to take flight

Even as the last three years saw only discussions on the proposed international airport in Pune, the year 2012 was witness to the proposal moving ahead with Rs 200 crore allocation being made and a final round of discussions being held with Central government officials in Pune. After ten year's delay, the district administration finally has its plans charted out with both the chief minister and the deputy chief minister propelling the proposal ahead.

While a technofeasibility study will be done in February 2013, the construction is scheduled to complete in 2015.

After an aerial survey in two choppers followed by closed-door discussions, the proposal finally saw the light of the day. The Central team did a recce of the proposed area and gave an "in-principle" approval for the site. According to the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), the agency that will develop the airport, the technofeasibility study would give a clearer picture on the number of villages to be covered for land acquisition. Senior Pune district administration officials have, however, categorically stated that only non-irrigated land would be acquired and a minimum number of villages touched.

The belt from Shiroli, Dhamne, Koye, Pait, Raundharwadi will be reviewed and assessed by the team conducting the technofeasibility study.

It was also decided that the government would allocate Rs 1,000 crore for land acquisition, of which Rs 200 crore has already been released. The proposed airport will have two parallel 6-km runways. The next two years will see planning, design and environmental clearances for the project.

Type plan housing for districts

To wipe out haphazard constructions in rural areas, type plan housing was readied by Pune District Collector Vikas Deshmukh and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority for economically weaker sections. The plan lists out the type of constructions and their specifications, which will be implemented within 10-km radius of the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation areas. The district collector proposes to come out with specific maps for the structures to enable the people to construct the houses accordingly. The plan strictly maintains that there would be no constructions on hill slopes, forest areas, industrial areas and areas within flood lines.

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