New airport site in Purandar better, more convenient: Ajit Pawar

Pawar said the proposal has been sent to the central government for approval.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said that the new site identified by the Pune Airport in Purandar was better than the earlier location, which was identified a few years ago in the same taluka. Pawar said the proposal has been sent to the central government for approval.

“The new site is better in terms of location as well as the quality of the surface area. It is much more convenient for landing and take-off of the planes,” Pawar told mediapersons on Friday. Pawar was in Pune to head the District Planning Committee meeting. “The new airport will come in the same taluka, so there is not much change,” he added.

The previous site was identified in 2015 by the then BJP-led government after the earlier selected location in Khed tehsil of Pune district received opposition from locals. After shifting the site to Purandar, the Devendra Fadnavis government expedited the process for all necessary approvals. The land for the site fell in the jurisdiction of seven villages – Pargaon, Rajewadi, Munjewadi, Vanpuri, Kumbalvalan, Ekhatpur and Udachi Wadi.

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Now, another site at about 10-15 kms from the previous location has been identified in six villages – Rise, Pise, Naigaon, Rajouri, Pandeshwar and Pimpri. While there has been some opposition from some leaders, local MLA Sanjay Jagtap, who was earlier leading the protests at the previous site, has been talking to the farmers. As per the existing plan, the 2,832-hectare land had been reserved for the Purandar Airport, which would be named as Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje Pune International Airport.

“A while ago, MP Supriya Sule, Pune Collector and other elected representatives from the area as well as Air Marshal (Rtd) Bhushan Gokhale met Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue and we are hoping to get an approval at the earliest,” said Pawar.

The proposed airport had been planned on 2,000 hectares. Central and state governments had given all the necessary permissions but the actual land acquisition did not start. Total land acquisition cost is expected to be Rs 4,000 crore for the existing site.

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