Centre permits swap of IAF-AAI land for Nagpur airport

Nagpur : The union cabinet Wednesday removed a major irritant in the ongoing development of the multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport (MIHAN) project here.

The central government allowed transfer/exchange of 278 hectares of Indian Air Force land comprising 289 acres of Airports Authority of India (AAI) land in its possession in lieu of 400 hectares offered by the Maharashtra government.

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This would smooth the way for development of the MIHAN project and simultaneously restore the ownership of 289 acres of AAI land, presently in IAF possession, back to AAI.

The state government had offered 400 hectares in lieu of 278 hectares taking into account the cost of relocation of the existing assets of IAF.

The additional land would help the IAF, among other things, extend its runway for its upcoming GAJRAJ project.

The 278 hectares in possession of AIF was located in five different pockets, thereby restricting its plans to develop the GAJRAJ in an integrated manner as it required a single plot for the purpose.

The additional 122 hectares offered by the state government would meet the costs of the existing fixed assets of the IAF which cannot be relocated.

Besides, the IAF land falling in the MIHAN airport boundary was required for the development of the MIHAN Project coming up on 4,300 hectares of land here.

The proposed exchange of lands, cleared by the centre, will now benefit the MIHAN and IAF to develop their respective projects smoothly.

“The work on the MIHAN SEZ is proceeding quickly with all the infrastructure already developed and ready on 3,100 acres of land, which includes 51 km of internal roads and a flyover, and a 200 MW captive power plant,” Deepak Joshi, spokesperson of Maharashtra Airport Development Company, which is developing the MIHAN, told IANS.

Around 1,700 acres of land has already been leased out to various major companies like TCS, whose IT project here will be operational within a couple of months, besides Lupin, HCL, WIPRO and Hexaware.

The Boeing’s aircraft maintenance hub is also expected to be operational within the next three-four months, while several other companies are in various stages of making their projects operational soon, Joshi added.

“While the existing Nagpur International Airport is already well-equipped to handle all passenger and cargo requirements till 2020, we shall augment its infrastructure as per future needs,” Joshi said.