Chennai airport: Plan to acquire land binned

“The area to be acquired has several buildings and acquisition cost is unviable and the plan has been dropped,” the official said.
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.

CHENNAI: The Chennai airport’s target to serve 55 million passengers per annum may be in trouble as the state government has dropped its plan to acquire 193 acres of land for expansion of the airport. A Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) official told TNIE that the proposal has been dropped due to problems in land acquisition.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had sought 133 acres for airport expansion and an additional 60 acres for road connectivity for the airport. “The area to be acquired has several buildings and acquisition cost is unviable and the plan has been dropped,” the official said.

The decision comes months after the AAI and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) conducted a joint survey of six land parcels for expansion of the airport to meet the ambitious target of 55 million passengers per annum (MPPA).

‘Focus on acquiring land for Parandur airport’

The AAI had initially requested the TN government to acquire 306 acres of land to build an international terminal on other side of Adyar River. But after TIDCO said land acquisition was not possible as the cost was too high and a lot of families will be affected, a revised proposal for 138 acres was presented to the state.

According to sources, apart from government land, private land parcels too need to be acquired. The Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia spoke on the need to acquire 200 acres to turn Chennai into civil aviation hub on a par with New Delhi and Mumbai.

Chennai airport authorities wanted to modify the existing cargo infrastructure under the project. Chennai airport has been functioning on 1,317 acres of land. This is a small area compared to other major airports in India. The airport was expected to cater to 35 million passengers after the completion of second phase. Official said government’s focus is to acquire land for Parandur airport.

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