The Business Times

Stalled Mumbai airport highlights India's infrastructure woes

Published Mon, Jul 7, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[NEW DELHI] India began planning a second airport for Mumbai when Bill Clinton was still US president. Seventeen years later, bidding on the project has yet to start.

A river still meanders across the marshy land where as many as 60 million passengers a year are supposed to fly in and out of India's main financial hub. The lack of progress on the project - in Navi Mumbai, or New Mumbai - illustrates the challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces in fulfilling a campaign pledge to build more airports, roads and railroads.

A slow land-buying process, environmental objections and high borrowing costs are among the impediments in improving a national infrastructure whose quality was ranked below Guatemala and Namibia in a World Economic Forum survey.

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