Similar to the Naina (Navi Mumbai Airport-Influenced Notified Area) project in Navi Mumbai, the Maharashtra government led by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday (29 September) decided to develop the area around Shirdi airport as a well-planned city.
The decision was taken at the 76th meeting of Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) held at CM’s residence in Mumbai. The airport’s influence area has also been named ‘ASHA’ (Area around Shirdi Hub Airport).
MADC was constituted in the year 2002 by the Government of Maharashtra as a special purpose company to develop Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) and aviation infrastructure in the State.
Shirdi Airport is located at Kakdi village, 13 km South-West of Shirdi, on the Ahmednagar-Manmad State Highway – 10 in Rahata Tehsil of Ahmednagar district.
Spread over a 350-hectare area, Shirdi Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Maharashtra after Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
Under the plan, MADC will develop four types of industries in the project, including the maintenance and repair industry of aircraft, cargo and logistics, infrastructure for religious tourism and hotels and the hospitality sector.
“Shirdi is close to Nashik and the city has a huge plant of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) where they manufacture Sukhoi, Jaguar fighter jets. Considering Shirdi’s proximity to Nashik, we will be focusing on developing the aviation maintenance and repair industry,” Deepak Kapoor, vice chairman and managing director, MADC, told Hindustan Times.
“Since the Nashik-Shirdi belt is a huge centre of horticulture produce such as pomegranate, grapes, guava, we are planning to develop a cargo hub and logistics industry. We will also be focusing on creating religious infrastructure as a lot of people visit Shirdi temple and the last area of focus would be developing hotels and the hospitality sector,” he added.