Raised an issue of Airport Land and Rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers
Raised the need for expansion of Mumbai Airport and rehabilitation of slum dwellers currently living on airport land:
During Zero Hour today, I brought up the need to expand the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai and rehabilitate the slum dwellers currently living on the airport land.
I started my intervention by expanding on the importance of the Mumbai Airport, the airport of the financial capital of India, the city which contributes 25% to India’s GDP. Along with Airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad, Mumbai is top three in the list of busiest airport in the country. A new airport in Navi Mumbai is expected to complete its first phase in 2018. In the meantime CSIA will have to cater to increasing passenger traffic. India’s air traffic is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next 20 years. CSIA Airport & Navi Mumbai airport are strategically important airports to deal with increasing passenger traffic as well as cargo.
Keeping this in mind, Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed an agreement with Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL), a Joint Venture group led by GVK group for development and modernisation of CSIA in Mumbai on April, 2006. AAI handed over the airport to MIAL on 3rd May, 2006 on “as is where is basis”. This means that MIAL will inherit all of the physical and legal conditions of the property that has been leased.
CSIA Mumbai, the busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic has two cross runways as a result of which one runway can be used at a time. MIAL wanted to build a new runway, terminal and other facilities for aeronautical purposes. Hence there was a need for freeing up the land occupied by 90,000 slum dwellers and finding a developer for the rehabilitation project to build new tenements for those people living on the airport land and relocate them. Apart from which, the presence of slums in the funnel area of the airport was a security hazard.
On 15th October, 2007 MIAL executed a contract with Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) to undertake activities relating to rehabilitation of slum dwellers and restoration of airport land. It was the country’s largest slum redevelopment and rehabilitation project. Under the contract, HDIL had to complete the relocation within four years, after which it would receive 65 acres for commercial development, apart from so-called transfer of development rights (TDRs).
Unfortunately, HDIL failed to execute the contract and as a result MIAL terminated the contract in 2013. HDIL and MIAL had appointed an arbitrator and arbitrating proceedings are in process.
Although HDIL took advantage of Transfer of Development Rights and claimed to have built 15,000 tenements in places like Andheri, Kurla, etc. the slum dwellers continue to suffer.
I earnestly requested that the State Government of Maharashtra, AAI, MIAL and Ministry of Urban Development should work together and promptly expedite slum rehabilitation in CSIA airport and devise solutions to provide housing facilities to the slum dwellers at the earliest.