NO to Navi Mumbai Airport sign now



Sir,

We urge you not to clear the second airport for Mumbai, proposed to be built at Navi Mumbai. The construction of the airport at this site, on 2054 hectares of area falling under the CRZ, where construction is not normally permitted, will mean destruction of over 160 hectares of mangroves, an invaluable natural buffer against floods.Their re-plantation elsewhere will do no good to the local citizens nor it can offset the deleterious effects of the destruction.

The airport will also involve diverting the course of 2 rivers Ulwe and Ghadi, and flattening a hilltop. The submergence of the existing Mumbai airport by the Mithi on July 26, 2005 is too fresh in our minds. Much of the damage caused then was because the Mithi had been diverted. Crores of tax-payers money had to be spent on restoring the Mithi to its original form. Flattening of hilltops in Mumbai has already caused temperatures to soar.With chances of weather patterns becoming extreme, what will happen if a cloudburst takes place here? Would the whole of Panvel get washed away because the places which dissipated the excess flow of water would have become thickly impervious?
Can you allow politicians to inflict the havoc our so-called development has caused, on hitherto untouched areas, only to satisfy air-travellers? What will the residents of Navi Mumbai gain by such wanton destruction of their environment? Significantly, all 18 villages affected by the project, comprising about 40,000 citizens, boycotted the mandatory public hearing held on May 5, 2010. Barely 30 persons, most of them CIDCO officials, attended the so-called hearing, which was over within an hour. The EIA report has also not been made available to the people concerned.
Can any project be given a go-ahead in such circumstances?

Another site in Kalyan, where an old airstrip already exists, can well be developed for a new airport. Why then the insistence on this ecologically precious site?

Please withhold permission and do justice to your portfolio and to the people of Navi Mumbai. Yours will be the responsibility for future disasters which will surely follow if this destructive project is allowed to come up.

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Kathrine GeorgeBy:
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Petition target:
Jairam Ramesh Minister for Environment & Forests

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