Oct 17, 2007

Airport Slums to Disappear Soon

In another 18 months, people flying into the city may not have to hover in the sky over the airport before their aircraft receives permission to land. Around 80,000 shanties - a roadblock to infrastructure development - are finally getting a move on towards rehabilitation. Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) has bagged the contract for rehabilitation of airport slum dwellers. Five construction firms participated in the bidding process.

According to the contract signed between Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the GVK-led private consortium modernising the airport, and the winning bidder, the slum rehabilitation process will be divided into four phrases.

The first phrase will be completed by April 2009. The airside infrastructure upgrade work will begin as soon as the first phrase is completed.

If all goes well, fliers can expect more taxiways, and maybe another runway After this kind of an upgrade, landing aircraft will be able vacate the runway easily and fast, reducing the distance between the tarmac and the car park.

"We are undertaking a model slum rehab exercise and are confident it will translate into a time-bound delivery of airport development," said MIAL Chairman G.V Krishna Reddy.

Airport sources, who requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said a survey of around 28,000 families eligible for rehabilitation had already been carried out.

The MMRDA, the nodal agency appointed by MIAL for slum rehabilitation will now act as the project implementing agency slum dwellers, however, were unaware about the development.

Update: Dharavi Project details are emerging.