A core aeronautical activity area at Navi Mumbai International Airport project site is abuzz with CIDCO’s pre-development operations. As per Sanjay Surve, an RTI activist, the project was started without conducting a prior survey of the trees that are situated in the acquired village site to be rehabilitated.
In response to his RTI, the horticulture department of CIDCO has said that they are unaware about the trees in the airport site. Meanwhile, an official of CIDCO has stated that a survey on trees is in progress, along with the international airport project.
“Cidco is wrong in carrying out pre-development work in the core activity area of the Navi Mumbai International Airport project as they have not conducted a survey of the trees, which needs to be replanted as they will be destroyed in the construction activity,” said Sanjay Surve, the RTI activist.
Surve is planning to seek help from the national green body. He said, “I will be filing a petition before the National Green Tribunal seeking a stay on Cidco’s construction activity at the Navi Mumbai International airport project, till Cidco conducts the survey of all the trees to be affected by the airport project and ensures their protection and preservation.”
“I had sought from Cidco’s horticulture Department minutes of the meeting giving sanction to protect and preserve the trees in the villages to be rehabilitated for construction of the Navi Mumbai international airport,” stated the activist.
However, the reply by the horticulture department of CIDCO clarifies that the information that Surve was seeking is not available with them.
According to Geeta Sawant, CIDCO’s horticulture officer stated, “We are in the process of notifying the trees in the core activity area of the Navi Mumbai international airport project. But our department has not yet been directed by the higher authorities to uproot the trees in the airport’s core activity area.”
About the pre-development operations that was started by CIDCO before conducting the tree survey in the area, Sawant stated that the chief engineer of the international airport was the right person to retort to the query.
R Dhayatkar, CIDCO’s chief engineer for the airport project stated that, “There is nothing wrong in carrying out the pre-development work in the core area of the project, as the horticulture department is simultaneously carrying out the tree survey.”
Although, the horticulture department has assured that the trees, which are hampering the airport development project will be preserved and protected, Dhayatkar added.