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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

voice of Bindass Indians - Mumbai needs an airport

Voice of Bindass Indians | Exclusive Blogs @ Bindass India Blogs

SriGanesha ( )>>>> speaks ---

Mumbai needs a new airport. 

He says-"

The Navi Mumbai Masterplan promises one at Panvel. The apparently moot point here is that a few tens of hectares of mangrove will require displacement. The operative word here is “displacement” not “destroyed”. It is useful to think of biological life forms (man, animal, bird, vegetation) as objects within a room or on one’s desk which can simply be lifted and put elsewhere where it suits the mind. In the case of the proposed Navi Mumbai airport, the lifting and putting elsewhere has found a suitable location along Dahanu and Palghar which are many a mile away from the proposed airport site. Further more, two streams/ rivulets will be diverted since they pass through the and along the proposed site. Mithi River Ver.2 waiting to be unleashed.

It is again a case of what is displaceable; certainly not the airport which promises to land the A380 on its tarmac. There are two scenarios, both paths being less trodden and tenuous.

Scenario 1:
The Navi Mumbai masterplan has been a dead horse flogged since 1975. All of the masterplan cannot really call itself ecologically sensible, forget sensitive. So why are we digging our feet into the masterplan as if it is the word of the Almighty. In the amount of time, effort, money and newsprint spent on the tussle between should it/ should it not, any other intelligent country would have scrutinized the masterplan, and discarded the idea of the Airport at its given location, arriving at an alternative location through well-informed and well-integrated Public design charettes. So why isn’t this being done? The answer probably lies in a few places which include politics, planning and passing the buck. If the airport is shifted a whole lot of people including our largely corrupt politicians will lose a lot of money since they would have hedged their bets on developments around the proposed airport. So would the common man. “World Class” infrastructure may be denied due to the shift.

Materplans are up for review every 20 years. In the case of Navi Mumbai it is already 25.By the time the new Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Plan comes into the public domain, it would already be time for contesting certain obsolete assumptions and weak implementation.

Scenario 2:
There are engineering marvels floating on seawater in some parts of the world. The Kansai International Airport is one such. It has taken great fortitude on the part of the architects, engineering, promoters and the Government to go ahead and do something which has not been done before. The best part about this venture is that there has been (and there is) a constant awareness about the fact that the airport landmass will sink by the extent of a little over a hair’s breadth over the years. And one day in the future, it will cease to exist. Yes, huge amounts of money would have been spent in the meantime and the maritime ecology damaged, but there will be poetic justice done one day. Is it possible that the proposed Navi Mumbai airport could think laterally (and boldly) like this.

If Mumbai aspires to be the next Singapore/ Shangai/ what-have –you, then it must take the path less trodden. It is another (bigger) question as to why should Mumbai be Shanghai etc, and not Mumbai? One of the first ways in which this could happen is by thinking “No airport on mangrove…chalo jaane do...aagey dekhtey hain”.

Mumbai is known to let go. Will the powers-that-be let go of a myopia?

"Airport Jaayega" is now a double entendre.

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