Kalyan Airstrip

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Kalyan Airstrip
Summary
Location Kalyan, Maharashtra, India

Kalyan Airstrip is an abandoned World War II airstrip at Nevali 6 km south of Kalyan railway station and 55 km north of Mumbai airport, India. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence but has been encroached upon.[1] The airfield served RAF Kalyan and was abandoned after the war. The site was proposed as a candidate for the second airport for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This proposal was abandoned in February 2014 as the Maharashtra government dropped the idea of examining alternative sites, having secured all necessary approvals for the Navi Mumbai International Airport at Panvel.[2]

History[edit]

The airfield at Nevali was used by the RAF pilots during World War II to give operational cover to the Bombay region. The total area of the Nevali air base was over 1,800 acres (7.3 km2). Post-Independence, ownership of the land was transferred to the Ministry of Defence. In June 2017, the Navy began constructing a boundary wall to protect the remaining land from further encroachment, since around 400 acres of the land was encroached upon over the years.[3] A small portion of the land is used by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for research activities.

Proposal to use site for International Airport[edit]

In October 2006 the Government of Maharashtra first proposed the Kalyan-Nevali site as a fit candidate for a third airport for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The Kalyan site was proposed because, compared to the Panvel site, the total area of the Nevali Airbase was over 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) relatively free of any natural obstacles and, unlike the Panvel site, there was no possibility of CRZ (Coastal Regulatory Zone) violations, flattening of mountains or diversion of any rivers. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had raised environmental objections on the proposed location of the Navi Mumbai International Airport near Kopra Panvel area, because the construction of the airport would involve reclamation of low-lying areas in an ecologically fragile zone as well as destruction of several hectares of mangroves. Hence the State Government proposed several alternate sites, one of which centred on a 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) piece of land owned by the Airports Authority of India near Kalyan.[4]

In August 2007, the national security advisor (NSA) had communicated to the state chief minister that the airport could not be developed on the 1,800 acres of defence ministry land due to safety and security reasons because a R&D laboratory of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) was being constructed in the adjacent area.[5] The proposal was also opposed by farmers in the Kalyan-Ambarnath belt who contended that the project would require more land than what was available with AAI, thus affecting around 22,000 farmers from 18 villages in the vicinity of the site.[6]

The state government dropped the idea of examining alternative sites in February 2014 as it had secured all necessary approvals for the Panvel site.[2]

Location[edit]

The airstrip is located on Haji Malang Road at Nevali village, 6 km south of Kalyan railway station and 55 km away from the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Sahar in Mumbai. The airstrip lies close to urban areas of the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation. The nearest railway station is Kalyan railway station on the Central Railway of the Mumbai suburban railway network. The airstrip can also be accessed from State Highway 2 (Kalyan-Murbad-Ahmednagar highway) and the NH 160 (Nashik-Thane national highway) which was earlier numbered NH 3 before renumbering of all national highways by National Highway Authority of India in 2010 year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Protest against proposed airport turns violent near Kalyan, several policemen injured". The Hindu. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "At least 12 foreign firms expected to bid for Navi Mumbai airport". Live Mint. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Farmers stir against building wall around defence land". PTI News. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018. 
  4. ^ [1] Archived 20 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "NSA had rejected Kalyan site for Mumbai airport in 2007 | Business Standard News". Business-standard.com. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  6. ^ "Farmers oppose Kalyan airport". Hindustan Times. 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 

External links[edit]