New Delhi: In an attempt to mollify Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh after a spat over the proposed Navi Mumbai airport, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today said he would work closely with his cabinet colleague to move forward.
Ramesh had last month raised serious ecological issues concerning the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai saying its construction would damage mangrove cultivation in nearly 2000 hectare.
"We are trying for the second airport in Mumbai to meet growing demand. My cabinet colleague (Ramesh) is sitting here and we will move forward together," Patel said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
The Minister said expansion of the existing airport is underway but it can be upgraded only after rehabilitation of nearly 80,000 slum dwellers as this was one of the conditions
while handing over the airport to private party.
A meeting was held recently with the Maharashtra government and airport officials and it was decided that 23,000 slum dwellers would be compensated in the first batch by year-end as per resettlement and rehabilitation policy of the state.
For the remaining slum dwellers, the state government was making all efforts to provide land for their rehabilitation.
Replying to a supplementary regarding congestion in Delhi Airport and time consumed to reach at the terminal after landing, Patel said the new T3 runway would commence domestic operations by October-end and that would address the problem.
As far as general congestion of flights is concerned, he said implementation of a recent circular by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the procedure to be
followed by the airlines, Air Traffic Control Units and Airport Operations has shown very positive results last month.