In Mumbai, residents around Juhu airport oppose the Airport Authority of India's plan to develop the airport into a commercial airport that supports the operations of 20 ATR aircraft plus private jets. The residents now plan to meet the chief minister and civil aviation minister to present their objections.
If necessary, the residents will even file a PIL to oppose the plan, they said. Juhu residents say that the Rs 2,000-crore project, which would spread across 260 acres, would use government funds and public land to build a facility for private extravagance. They added that the BMC's Development Plan (DP) has for 40 years envisaged sports facilities, a recreation ground and two arterial roads connecting Santa Cruz and Vile Parle.
All this would have to be shelved to accommodate the new airport. The iconic Juhu beach and a catchment area for monsoon rainwater would also be damaged. In the 1970s, a Japan Airlines plane crash-landed into a nullah while attempting to land at the airport, which shows the risks involved in operating larger aircraft there, said residents.
A major cause for concern is that the new project's runway would end less than 100 metre from the gate of the 500-bed Nanavati Hospital. A larger airport would create a mess in the area. It would disturb the patients, said Sachin Nanavati, trustee, Nanavati Hospital.