Will lands near Airport be reclassified for development by CMDA?

The lands have been lying idle for nearly 10 years as it they are yet to be reclassified by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

Published: 27th July 2021 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2021 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

Chennai Airport

Chennai Airport's image used for representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Indian Institute of Technology Madras’s (IIT-M) Centre for Urbanisation, Buildings and Environment (CUBE), one of the Centre of Excellence for Tamil Nadu government, is conducting a study on developing 852 acres of prime land, which was initially acquired for airport expansion, according to official sources.

The lands have been lying idle for nearly 10 years as it they are yet to be reclassified by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). The lands, acquired in 2007, were not put to use for a parallel runway as Airport Authority of India (AAI), in 2011, dropped the plan stating that no significant improvement in aircraft movement would be achieved due to the long taxing time involved.

However, the acquired lands were not denotified and one of the land owners sought the Madras High Court direction to denotify the land. It was on January 2, 2014, after the order was passed, that the land was denotified by passing a Government Order on January 30, 2014, but the land use plan did not change. 
The denotified lands are located at Manapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Kolapakkam, Tharapakkam, and Kovur villages in Sriperumbudur taluk of Kancheepuram district.

The official said that CUBE will conduct a survey through satellite imagery and also a flood modelling study. The study will look into flood mitigation measures. “They will study how much area will be impacted when it rains heavily,” said the official. The study could not be carried out due to Covid-19, said the official.

In 2015, floods forced closure of the Chennai Airport for at least four days, the AAI then, had joined hands with the IIT to map the geography of the airport and its surrounding areas using a drone to plan a long-term solution to prevent flooding. It was then planned to map the airport and the surrounding water bodies up to 5 - 10 km radius from the  airport.

However, this study is a new one and not linked to the previous study, said the CMDA official. But, locals have been complaining against the land use plan as not being changed for such a long time. The acquired land has been denotified but the land use plan map has not been changed, as a result, no development can take place.

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