Agency NEW DELHI: The construction of the proposed Jewar airport in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh is likely to be delayed as an expert committee of the environment ministry has recommended deferring the project while observing that it did not cover several environmental aspects. The Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) deferred the Rs 7,291-crore project while posing queries to the developer of the airport — the Directorate of Civil Aviation, UP government — regarding afforestation plan and restoration of water bodies. “The EAC deliberated upon the information provided by the project proponent. It was observed that the environment impact assessment (EIA) report submitted by the project proponent does not cover all environmental aspects of the proposed airport,” the panel said. It asked the UP government to apprise it about the status of permission for tree cutting from the forest department and afforestation plan in the project. The panel also sought to know the restoration plan for water bodies, conservation plan for birds and fauna in consultation with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). It also asked the project proponent to carry out a study on filling of 14 ponds around the area and work out measures especially with respect to water conservation besides coming up with a revised Corporate Environment Responsibility (CER) plan. “In view of the observations, the EAC recommended to defer the proposal. The proposal shall be reconsidered after the above details are addressed and submitted,” the committee said. The proposed airport site is spread over an area of 1,334 hectare, which also consists of settlements and agricultural area, and is a part of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), which has been appointed as the nodal agency by the state government for execution of the land acquisition process and other activities pertaining to the development of the airport, according to the minutes of the meeting held by the EAC in July. According to the Directorate of Civil Aviation, UP, the project has been designed as per international standards to cater to big aircraft and the master plan for the airport is designed to conform to the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) formulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and promulgated by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India. The proposed airport site is located about 700 metres from the Yamuna Expressway and about 70 km from the Delhi IGI Airport, the minutes said.
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