Airport transfer for MIHAN within 8 weeks: Centre

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Nagpur, Oct 10 (UNI) The Centre has assured the High Court here that the city airport would be transferred within eight weeks for the Multi-Modal International Air Passenger and Cargo Hub at Nagpur (MIHAN).

The assurance came from counsel for the government, Additional Solicitor General Amrinder Sharan, during a hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) on the transfer of the airport, before a division bench of Justices A H Joshi and R C Chavan at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court today.

Nearly 379 hectare of land of Nagpur airport is to be handed for the MIHAN project, which will also include a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The project itself will be located over 1,300 hectare of land.

The PIL has been filed by Vidarbha Jankalyan Wa Vikas Sanstha, a voluntary organisation, seeking the court's directives for the Union Government to set a time frame for the transfer of the airport. The airport to be developed as part of MIHAN, will be handed over to a joint venture company with equity participation of the Maharashtra government and Airports Authority of India (AAI).

At an earlier hearing on August 29, the Union Government had filed an affidavit saying that no time frame could be indicated for the transfer of the airport for the MIHAN project.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, in an affidavit, had said that the transfer of the airport needed the Union Cabinet's approval and hence, the government had already initiated the consultation process, which involved administrative and financial approval of the ministries concerned, besides seeking views and comments of the Planning Commission and the other concerned ministries. Since it was purely a policy matter, the court could neither issue any mandamus nor could monitor the pace at which it was required to be formulated or finalised, Mr Sharan argued before the court.

UNI

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