Proposed Navi Mumbai international airport lands in fresh trouble

In a letter dated 26th March, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had notified the villagers that a public feedback meeting would be held to record their suggestions regarding the proposed project, but the villagers have boycotted the meet

Work on the Navi Mumbai International Airport has run into fresh trouble with villagers affected by the proposed project boycotting a crucial meeting with the authorities today.

"We believe that the conditions being put forth are not in our best interests," said Mahindra Patil, sarpanch of Pargaon, one of the affected villages where agricultural land is yet to be acquired by CIDCO.

The villagers met yesterday evening to discuss the matter among themselves, and thereafter, chose to boycott today's meeting. They have also handed over written petitions detailing the reasons behind their non co-operation to the authorities, including CIDCO, the district collector, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and the tehsildar.

In a letter dated 26 March 2010, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had notified the villagers that a public feedback meeting will be held on 5 May 2010. The main objective of the meeting was to get feedback from the villagers regarding the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report that was presented to them by the authorities in mid-March 2010.

The EIA report, put together by the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE), IIT Bombay, runs into five volumes and contains reports that were prepared by specialised agencies commissioned to study various environmental aspects of the project. The EIA report notes in section 4.12 (Land Status & Settlement) of its first volume (Executive Summary) that out of the 2,054 hectares (ha) required for the project, 1,154ha is in City and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (CIDCO)'s possession, 443ha of government land is being transferred to CIDCO, while the balance is private land that is still being acquired.

Confirming the same in his presentation on Wednesday, Jayant Kulkarni, general manager for SEZ, CIDCO additionally disclosed that of the 443ha of Government land, 188ha has already been transferred to CIDCO.

While CIDCO has been tight-lipped on any specific deadline for land acquisition, it is learnt that a special land acquisition officer (SLO), Nandakumar Koshti, is currently overseeing the land acquisition activities pertaining to the airport. While the SLO has not yet commented on the precise status of these land acquisitions, some in his office have confirmed that they are currently working on the matter.

According to information provided by the villagers, the last public declaration pertaining to land acquisition was published in local newspapers on 16 February 2010. This declaration has lead to more confusion and discontent among the villagers as the purpose of land acquisition in it has been changed to "Navi Mumbai Project" as opposed to the "International Airport" cited in an earlier declaration dated 10 January 2010.

Many locals strongly believe that portions of the land being acquired under the project will be used for other projects too. They said that they have tried to ascertain the reason for this sudden change in the declaration, and have not yet received any convincing answer.

They have also pointed out that a resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) committee was to be formed with representation from each of the affected villages. This too has not yet materialised. 

In the meeting today, officials further informed that the EIA has been submitted to the Centre and environmental clearance is awaited.

Replying to queries, an official confirmed that a second phase of the hydro-geological survey conducted by the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), Water Supply and Sanitation Department, government of Maharashtra, is yet to be undertaken. The GSDA has recommended in the current EIA that a second phase be conducted since the present hydro-geological study collected and analysed only post-monsoon data. The second phase will include pre-monsoon data, among other things.

CIDCO reiterated in its presentation today that it expects to start work on the project this year and is aiming to complete the first phase of the project by 2013, at an estimated cost of Rs4,952 crore. However, if today's protests are indicative of things to come, the project is in for a tough ride, and it might be very difficult to stop it from running into additional time and cost overruns.



Ashok Todakar

6 years ago

Land is ready for sale in nandivali , panvel as per damand in acre. contact for joint venture development or personal development. mo 09270711693


6 years ago

Panvel Airport must come up so that Mumbai progress & jobs can be created. Whether we like it or not, Dirty Politicians will rob the public tax money in crores (one scandal after the other: like: Tainted Raju - Telecom, Croses robbed in minning scam, IPL scam, Asian Games Scam, stamp duty scam, infra construction scam, mns land grabing scam in mumbai for marathi ghati's etc...). Enough is enough,. The common Indian wants a life without corruption, without dadagiri, without being cheated & wants benefits from the government for their hard earned tax money being deducted. If we don't build an airport & use it, the next greedy politician will take it & we will continue to whine... Sad but true, this is the reality in India. People are fedup actually ...with corruption at every level in the country. From wardboys, policemen, govt officials, even to get a death certificate - they expect a BRIBE. Rahul G ... please take position on the center stage. Enough of being a bystander...


6 years ago

Delhi has also got their new Airport. How much more must mubaites wait for the new airport at Navi Mumbai. Enough is enough, all the greedy have made money since 2006. Now give something back to the people.

Please give the people their airport. Request people to join in a collective voice to ensure that the nation may move from words to reality of a New Navi Mumbai Airport.

Please continue the appeal & raise your voices... jai hind !

vilas yogeshwar gore

6 years ago

I want the details of the land acquired for the navimumbai airport in thane district because I am planing to purchase the land in nandivali village near hajimalang,so I WANT TO KNOW THAT IS THE LAND IS FREE.



In Reply to vilas yogeshwar gore 6 years ago

bhai sahib, you want the villagers to leave but you want new airport to come up so you can invest in land for your needs......i think you should pay the villagers first..from your pocket.. then we will decide what land you can invest in.....

Shadi Katyal

6 years ago

I wonder which NGO is behind this negative reply from the villagers.
when we talk of environment are we not living in a dream world.
Look around Mumbai or any big town and see the pulsation and garbage all over the streets. In Delhi even cows roam openly . How about thousand of those slum huts next to railway tracks who have no toilets all over India.
These poor people are being exploited in name of envoirnment.
Yes pay them proper property rates and see they are settled well.

India Inc’s M&A deals touch $1.7 billion in April

The M&A deal value during April stood at $1.74 billion and rose 57% over the same period last year

Corporate India's merger and acquisition (M&A) deal activity stood at $1.74 billion in April taking the total M&A kitty so far this year to $21 billion, reports PTI.

According to the monthly deal report of VCCEdge, the financial research platform of, the M&A deal value during April stood at $1.74 billion and rose 57% over the same period last year.

The deal count also witnessed an upward trend and increased to 49 in April compared to 28 in the year-ago period.

"On a month-on-month basis, deal value in April 2010 was substantially lower than that in March 2010. In terms of deal value, the monthly activity began with slow momentum in February and accelerated in March to reach $14.1 billion. However, this pace could not be maintained and activity recorded a dip at $1.74 billion in April," the report said.

The month of April saw as many as 25 domestic deals worth $815 million, compared to 13 deals worth $603 million in the year-ago period, the report added.

Besides, the number of outbound deals more than doubled from eight in April 2009 to 18 this year while the number of inbound deals remained almost unchanged with five deals in April this year as against seven deals witnessed last year during the same time.

Larger deals ($50 million and above) continued their dominance and accounted for 87% of total capital invested in April 2010.

The DLF Assets deal, where one of the country’s largest listed real-estate firms, DLF, hiked its stake in a group company, DLF Assets, to 91.9% for $694 million, was the largest transaction for the month.

Apart from the DLF deal, some of the other major M&A transactions in April include Jindal Steel & Power’s $500 million buyout of Abu Dhabi-based Shadeed Iron & Steel Co and Godrej Consumer Products' acquisition of Indonesia based PT Megasari Mamsur for $269 million.

Meanwhile, a sector-wise analysis shows that finance, manufacturing and consumer goods were the most targeted sectors, as these segments attracted deals worth $694 million, $526 million and $303 million, respectively.

In terms of deal volume, the most active sector was information technology (IT), which cornered 10 deals followed by consumer goods and manufacturing with eight deals each in April 2010.


Flying the toxic skies-III

Passengers are supposed to get clean and fresh air during a fight. So why is the air we breathe on board airplanes so bad?

In part III, we try to bring forth the legal and regulatory aspects in India, such as they are.
Cabin air quality is another word that comes up again and again in context with toxic air on board modern passenger airplanes. Research on the subject has been reported from as far back as the '80s and '90s, and from interested parties in parts of the world as diverse as Hong Kong, USA, Canada, UK, some European countries, and Australia. The results of these studies and investigations sound suspiciously like similar research done in those days and previously on subjects like tobacco and automobile emission—with brilliant usage of phrases like "not sufficient proof" or "can not be confirmed". However, nowhere is it denied that an increasing number of people, both passengers and crew, are often suffering from something during and after flights. And increasingly, data being acquired is beginning to support the point of view of those who wish to be heard on the subject.
It is just that the whole effort seems to get lost in semantics and grammar, as well as long words, while the aviation industry moves on towards a permanent race towards increasing efficiencies of scale as well as turning profits. In itself, not an altogether incorrect approach, but at what cost?
Within the Indian regulatory context, there is apparently close to no research or studies on the subject available to the public and the standard response from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as well as the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is that they go as per manufacturer's specifications. Take a closer look at the DGCA specified "Cabin Inspection Report", and it does not have even a single reference or column to air-quality on board prior, during or after a flight. Incidentally, this is basic information that the engineering and other departments in better hotels take the effort to source out, record, and if required, fix. This is also not rocket science, since all it requires is training that an aircraft engineer or cabin/cockpit crew already has and instruments that would cost at best a few thousands of rupees. Expect to see such instruments, incidentally, inside the cabins of luxury cars very soon.
Simple fact remains: "Internal Air Quality" is a subject of great importance now and very simple as well as portable instruments are available easily all over the world, including in India, to measure walk-through as well as long-term parameters on toxic gases, particulates, moisture, ventilation (so important when the aircraft is on the ground for long periods), and most of all, volatile compounds in the environment on board which, inside an airplane, means the assortment of gaseous chemicals that will find their way through the filters—from the fuel, lubricants, seals and other chemicals in use. Remember, we are talking of bleed air coming out of the engines at temperatures higher than 400 degrees centigrade, once the engines are operating at thrusts varying from take-off to cruise. And at pressures varying from fractions of ground level outside, to multiples inside the engines, which in turn if you recall your school level PVT formulae, do some amazing things to most matter, leave alone volatile chemicals.
But then, of course, it suits our babus to continue to trot out the manufacturer's line. And not just with civil aviation. Just like they've done for the tobacco issues—till today, bidi packets are not marked as dangerous, paan masala with tobacco continues along its merry way at a cancer hospital near you, and as for the "smoking kills" campaign—the less said the better. Even the much maligned Indian Railways have commenced studies to investigate air quality in their newer air-conditioned rakes, especially for the 3-Tier air-conditioned wagons, where you have a large number of people inside an almost hermetically sealed environment, and where, if in doubt, you can always open the door. But civil aviation? It is probably more important to work on privatisation of airport contracts.
As a seafarer, your correspondent knows the subject—from the proverbial mynah bird let down into cargo holds and tanks to chirp out about good or bad air quality to modern day instruments, which define the same thing in a more precise manner. Your writer has seen them all—in sizes from as small as a pocket sized ball-pen to the largest pre-fitted in suitcases, which are smaller than the size of carry-on cabin baggage. Accommodation blocks on ships at sea seldom need to have cabin air quality measured, since fresh sea air at normal barometric pressures is available in vast quantities, but even there these are often tested.

However, it is for the cargo spaces, deep tanks, double bottoms and other spaces and those going inside them that these instruments become life savers. And they are so easily as well as freely available that one wonders why the aviation regulators in India do not simply reach out and borrow a few-unless they already know the results and are not keen to do so officially? {break}
So, to round off—in the rest of the free and democratic world, court judgements as well as research on cabin air quality within passenger aircraft are beginning to show up. Bear in mind that the sheer effort of taking on the aviation industry in anything—remember the last time you tried to fight for a simple refund due to you and finally gave up, means that the smallest victory has a much larger story and effort behind it.
Do take a look here, then: see here
And also:
The global resource point on this subject is here, at the website of the "Global Cabin Air Quality Executive" (GCAQE):
In very brief, an airline that operated a particular brand and model of a passenger aircraft, which often released smoke and fumes, was successfully sued by a cabin crew member who suffered from respiratory problems due to this and in doing so opened the door to multiple litigations on the same subject worldwide. Since aviation is a worldwide industry, it is anticipated that this judgement will open the floodgates. It is pertinent to point out here that one of the earliest studies on the subject was conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force, results of which were on the Internet but seem to have now gone adrift—they were startling, to say the least.
In the absence of any regulations in India to date for aircraft cabin air quality, it appears as though it will be very difficult for anybody to seek legal or other assistance in this matter in this country, but it will not end there. Indian registered aircraft operating to countries where standards and legalities are being set at this time will need to comply if they wish to fly to those destinations. Within India, domestic airlines will need to adhere to stringent international parameters even if the regulators do not insist, if they wish to keep their insurance levels up towards servicing international passengers. And eventually, hopefully, it shall be articles like this in a free media that will jerk the authorities out of their toxic air induced sleep on board airplanes into doing something on the ground with the regulations that are fast needed.
After all, if we can have these instruments and precautions on board ships and hotel rooms, then why not in airplanes?

(This is the concluding part of the three-part series)


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