Navi Mumbai airport gets environment ministry's clearance

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Mumbai, Nov 22 (ANI): The Environment and Forest Ministry on Monday gave fullclearance for the construction of a new international airport in Navi Mumbai.

The Environment and the Aviation Ministry had been at loggerheads over the alleged delay in environment clearance for the airport.

"Today, formally the environmental clearance has been given to the Navi Mumbai Project. The provisions of building the airport will start today," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters.

"90m hill near to the runway will be cleared as the removal is unavoidable. With these compromises, we are fully on board and will ensure speedy work," he added.

The approval from the Environment Ministry comes a week after its Expert Advisory Committee(EAC) recommended that the proposal be cleared.

Thirty kilometres away from the current Chattrapati Shivaji Airport, the location of the Navi Mumbai airport had been a contentious one, because of its environmental impact.

Plans for the airport have been modified so that one river instead of two will be diverted. Of the 400 acres of mangrove that were originally believed to be in danger, about 100 acres will now be impacted.

The Cities and Industrial Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) has committed to creating a bio-diversity park that covers 250 acres.

The Navi Mumbai Airport is scheduled to begin operations in 2013 at Panvel. It's expected to handle an additional 60 million passengers annually. (ANI)

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