How about scrapping the site for Mumbai’s fourth airport viz., Navi Mumbai?

This suggestion by Swaminathan Aiyar in today’s ToI in this article http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Swaminomics/entry/the-case-for-offshore-airports seems plausible. What with huge cost overruns for the proposed 4th airport at Navi Mumbai, the project now would cost ~ Rs 14k Cr or 5x the original cost, ridiculous to say the least.

There is now talk of considering an alternative location, Madh Island wherein a Dutch consultancy firm is assessing the technical feasibility of an offshore airport. Yes, an airport on an offshore location, which is the norm in land starved countries, viz., Japan, South Korea etc. which can be built at a fraction of the cost.

With land being scarce and land acquistion exhorbitantly expensive, this could be the way out for developing countries like India wherein increasing air travel undertaken by Indians would increase air traffic which would result in the need for more airports.

But, another important reason for the same would be to break the back of the land acquistion racket in India. Land sharks are moving around in and around the city gobbling up an stretch of land. For far too long, policticians and speculators have been buying up land before any major new project comes up anywhere since they are privy to information. These are the people who are the beneficiaries of the compensation and not the original villagers. With 25 Cr per acre compensation to such speculators, it would be nothing less than sacrilege. Scrapping the site would cause land prices to crash resulting in untold losses to these speculators for a change.

Speculative activities in real estate is assuming menacing proportions and should be killed soon.

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