Tuesday, October 03, 2017

'Tamil Nadu's airport plans, a tragedy of gross errors’

Chennai:  It all started in 1999 when the Tamil Nadu government, along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), decided to develop a new international airport in Chennai. Ever since there has been a series of tragedy of errors.
The state government entrusted the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) with identifying the land for the project and Scott Wilson Kirkpatric, was appointed as technical consultant for the same. Five locations — Manapakkam belt, West Tambaram, Maraimalai, Sriperumbudur and areas near Vandalur — were identified. However AAI preferred the land near Pozichalur/Anakaputhur/Cowl Bazar, making the technical consultant irrelevant. This option had to be dropped for political reasons. AAI then chose two sites — Manapakkam belt and Sriperumbudur. The state government issued a GO in this regard in 2007. Now, the Sriperumbudur project has also been shelved.
The irony is that it is the public that suffers due to government's indecisiveness. Residents of Sriperumbudur, whose pieces of land were notified for the project, had to suffer for almost 10 years. Both time and money spent on land identification, acquisition and feasibility studies (by International Civil Aviation Organisation) went down the drain. The government will now repeat the same ritual.
Meanwhile, the existing airport was expanded by adding two terminal buildings and extending the second runway. The estimated cost of Rs1,808 crore was revised to Rs2,500 crore. The passenger handling capacity was increased to 23million after expansion.
03/10.17 Times of India

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