The last tranche of pre-development works for the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) — in this case, major actions like flattening a hill and diverting a river to create a level ground for the runways and terminals — is in the final stretch. Two city infrastructure companies are in the race for the Rs 545-crore tender for the project and the board of Cidco, the nodal agency for the execution of the major infrastructure facility, is likely to finalize the bid on February 23. The design of the recourse canal for the Ulwe River and guidelines for diverting it have been provided by IIT-Bombay and the Central Water and Power Research Station that is based in Pune. When it is ready the first flight will take off in 2019. As part of the pre-development works, the river will be diverted through a recourse channel parallel to the runway on the south side and it will eventually flow into the Moha creek. The hill that is being flattened occupies a chunk of the western side of the airport core area. It will be cut till 8m above sea level and the debris will be used to level the runway area to that level. The high flood line in the area is 4.5metres and so the airport is being kept at a higher level.
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