Maharashtra government pushes take-off of 11 new airports

MIHAN aims to exploit Nagpur's central location and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity

Maharashtra government pushes take-off of 11 new airports

The state government has fast-tracked the development of Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) and 10 other new airports. The State has set up an 11-member Project Monitoring & Implementation Committee (PMIC), headed by Chief Secretary Sumit Malik, for early clearance of the Request For Proposal (RFP), Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the bidding process and awarding the contract. PMIC’s members include joint secretary of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and chairman of the Airports Authority of India.

Recently, a similar PMIC, chaired by the Chief Secretary, approved the financial bid submitted by GVK-led Mumbai International Airport’s (MIAL) to construct the Navi Mumbai International Airport.

MIHAN is an airport project for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, hometown of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari. Ten other airports are being developed at Kolhapur, Shirdi, Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nanded, Solapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

They are all under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), part of the ambitious National Civil Aviation Policy, 2010.

MIHAN aims to exploit Nagpur’s central location and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The project is made up of two parts – an international airport that will act as a cargo hub and a Special Economic Zone with a residential zone.

The project cost is envisaged at Rs 2,581 crore, based on 2002 rates and it is expected to attract investment of over Rs 20,000 crore.

An officer from the state Civil Aviation department told DNA, “The PMIC will have a major role in providing timely clearances for RFP, Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the development of MIHAN and 10 other airports. After PMIC’s approval, the State cabinet will give the final nod.”

As reported by DNA, the state government has appointed the Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC) as co-ordinator and facilitator for 28 existing airports, and the development of MIHAN and 10 other new airports under RCS. The state government has already agreed to provide a slew of sops, including tax-cut on air fuel for 10 years, free-of-cost land, and electricity and water at concessional rates.