Praful Patel expects environmental clearance to Navi Mumbai airport project by November

New Delhi, Oct 20 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Wednesday said the environmental clearance to the much-delayed Navi Mumbai airport project is likely to be granted by next month as necessary changes have been made in the project plan to tackle the ecological concerns.

"The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Environment Ministry is at the site. There should be an early resolution to the issue. Hopefully, environmental clearance should be granted by next month," said Patel.

"While the site of the airport and the runway remains the same, changes have been made to some extent in the (civil side) design and the work being done by the (project promoter) CIDCO," he added on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Air Traffic Controllers Guild (India) here today.

Praful Patel further said the matter cannot be delayed for long as it is seriously affecting the growing air traffic in Mumbai.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had earlier on October 8 said a compromise formula had been worked out with the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Jairam Ramesh said: "There will be an agreement. Our team is going to Navi Mumbai on October 21 and 22. I have talked to Praful Patel and I hope that we make a compromise soon."

The existing Mumbai airport, where additional flights are now being restricted due to saturation, is slated to exhaust its capacity of handling 40 million passengers a year by 2013.

The Union Cabinet had approved in May 2007 the proposal for the construction of the new airport at Navi Mumbai. (ANI)

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