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Home ยป Why people in Kancheepuram opposing proposal of second airport in Chennai?

Why people in Kancheepuram opposing proposal of second airport in Chennai?

Why people in Kancheepuram opposing proposal of second airport in Chennai?

Residents of some of the villages in the Kancheepuram district have been protesting for almost more than three months against Chennai’s proposed second airport at Parandur. Black flags have been raised on many houses around Parandhur, Ekanapuram and Nagapattu.

As part of the protest, many residents of Ekanapuram, Meleri, Nagapattu and Nelvoi did not send their children to school on Friday saying their livelihood would be affected if the new airport was built, said R. Elango, a farmer and Ekanapuram resident.

Nagapattu, a small village with 80 houses, is one of 12 villages earmarked for a new greenfield airport, to be built on 4,791 acres of land in Parandur, 70 km southwest of Chennai.

On October 2, the gram sabhas present in the villages of Eganapuram, Gunagarambakkam, Thandalam and Parandur passed a resolution against the state government’s proposal. During the last three months, several multi-level meetings have also been held between the villagers and the district administration, MLAs and state ministers.

The project, estimated to cost around Rs 20 billion, is touted as a “crucial infrastructure” that will reduce congestion at Chennai International Airport in Meenambakkam and help the state government led by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to meet its ambitious goal of achieving a US$1 trillion economy by 2030.

Considered these four sites

The state government had originally considered four sites Cheyur and Mamandur in the Chengalpattu district, Parandur in the Kancheepuram district and Pannur in the Tiruvallur district. After conducting an inspection to assess the suitability of the sites, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) found Parandur and Pannur to be comparatively more viable for airport development.

AAI then forwarded its pre-feasibility report to Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO), advising it to carry out Obstacle Boundary Surface (OLS) survey and charting work at two identified sites.

After comparing the feasibility of both the sites including the presence of housing and industrial establishments and the land acquisition cost, the state government has selected the Parandur site as the location for the development of the greenfield airport. As per the provisions of the Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008, the State Government is now required to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for the grant of final site clearance.

Under the policy, the state government will now have to send a proposal to the ministry for a two-stage approval process. First, there is site clearance, followed by in-principle approval. The process of selecting the site for the second airport entered the final stage a week ago. State Industries Minister Tangam Tenarasu met Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 26 in Delhi.

People are Protesting

“After a meeting with the ministers, we were promised that our concerns will be passed on to Chief Minister MK Stalin. But there has been no news from the government after the meeting. Instead, Minister Thangam Thennarasu delivered a speech on the importance of the greenfield airport. The move hurts us,” said a resident of Eganapuram.

“Are we or our children ever going to travel on these planes? We are day labourers and this airport means nothing to us. So for their convenience, they are disrupting our lives.” Saroja, a resident of Eganapauram said.

Flood concern

Some environmentalists worry that the airport project could have serious ecological impacts and worsen flooding, but the government has said it has taken all these factors into account.

In an interview with the Indian Express, G. Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal said that the initial project map indicated that the airport runway would block a third-order stream, formed by the confluence of two other streams, and several bodies of Water. This, he pointed out to him, could flood the airport.

“We have lost sleep and hardly eat. The happiness we had all these years is destroyed by the government’s announcement,” says Tamil Selvi, 52, who farms on leased land in Nagapattu.

According to K Balaraman, chairman of the Parandur panchayat, some 3,000 families here depend on agriculture. “We found out about the airport through the media. We are very upset about this as our livelihoods will be affected. What will we do if we lose our land and our house? All the inhabitants of Parandur are against the airport. They don’t want it here,” he said.

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