The Tamil Nadu government has issued orders to facilitate acquisition of 3,774.01 acres of patta land in Parandur and 19 other villages in Kancheepuram district for setting up a greenfield airport for Chennai, and the people who are likely to be displaced by the project staunchly opposed the move and held protests.
The government has also cleared the decks for the alienation of 1,972.12 acres of government lands in the 19 villages for the airport project. The Government Order for administrative sanction for the special land acquisition and financial sanction has been issued.
Supported by environment activists, villagers descended upon the Kancheepuram collectorate and staged a protest urging the state government to drop its move to acquire their patta (land owned by them) lands.
For over a year, people in villages including Ekanapuram are holding daily protests against the land acquisition for the airport project, which is expected to come up at an outlay of approximately INR 20,000 crore.
The lands for the second airport would be acquired under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Lands for Industrial Purposes Act, 1997, in Kancheepuram and Sriperumbudur Taluks in favour of TIDCO for setting up the greenfield airport at Parandur. Totally, about 5,746.18 acres of land including 3,774.01 acres of patta land and 1,972.17 acres of government lands to be alienated are required for the project.
The state government has proposed to set up a greenfield international airport to augment airport infrastructure and facilities to cater to the ever-growing air connectivity needs of passenger transportation and cargo movement to and from the state.
“It is a strategic imperative to have robust air connectivity for a wide range of economic reasons for industrial growth, tourism, healthcare, logistics, and e-commerce,” the order issued recently said.
The air passenger traffic of Chennai region is expected to reach 50 million by 2037 and grow further, the 21-page order said. As per the traffic growth forecast, Chennai International Airport will reach its saturation by 2028, and beyond 2028 the air passenger traffic demands of the Chennai metropolitan area will be unfulfilled without the operation of a new airport \ expansion of the existing airport, it said.
Moreover, adequate and efficient cargo transportation and handling capacity are critically essential for the several high-tech industries that Tamil Nadu presently has and intends to attract, it added.
The proposed new greenfield airport would be beneficial as it would see increased and improved facilities to handle domestic and international passengers and cargo, catalytic effect on economic growth by increased tourists and business travel, and boost the progress of hospitality.
Quoting a study by the Airport Authority of India, the order said the proposed site in Parandur is more feasible for the development of a greenfield airport due to the availability of airspace and relatively free of natural obstructions. As per the findings of the feasibility study carried out by AAI and detailed analysis by TIDCO the Parandur site is the most suitable for the development of a greenfield airport as it is nearer to the upcoming Chennai-Bengaluru expressway.
Further, the number of families to be displaced is lesser, it said.