India's overcrowded financial capital unveils its long-awaited $2 billion new airport terminal Friday, an ambitious, art-filled space that developers hope will be a showcase success in a country struggling to modernize inadequate infrastructure that is holding back economic growth.
Hemmed in by Mumbai's sprawling slums, the renovated Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport was delayed for nearly two years and overran its construction budget by 25 percent. The project was dogged by political disputes, regulatory snarls and difficulty reclaiming more than 300 acres of airport land near the runway occupied by tens of thousands of squatters.
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The Mumbai airport's developer and operator, a public-private venture led by India's GVK Group, is betting that passengers will find the result worth the wait for its sleek and airy design, abundant greenery and some 7,000 pieces of Indian art.