92m-tall hill being levelled to 8m to pave way for Navi Mumbai airport
Imagine a natural formation as high as a 20-storey building, which is 2km north-south and 1km east-west, being flattened. This is what is happening at the Navi Mumbai International Airport site as a 90m hill is being levelled to 8m to make way for a runway and the project’s core area.
The hill is being blasted in the afternoon and evening everyday in order to raze it. To speed up hill-cutting, City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), the project’s nodal development authority, is now planning to blast the hill during mornings as well. The work, which began in July, has been delayed due to monsoon, which withdrew only in October, and protests by project-affected persons. In the coming weeks, the hill will be blasted thrice a day—7am to 8am, besides the earlier 1pm to 2pm and 5pm to 6pm. It will take two years to level the hill.
Superintending engineer Sanjay Dahedar, who is overlooking the pre-development work, told TOI, “The blasting is largely on the southern side of the airport in the first phase. This is where one of the runways will be built along the taxiway. Also, a part of the terminal building, hangars and infrastructure needed for take-off will come up here.”