Thursday, November 12, 2020

Plan to construct Sriperumbudur airport may be a non-starter again

Chennai: It is said that it will take at least three to five years to plan an airport, probably more for a city like Chennai which has active defence airfields on its periphery. But it looks like the Union government wants to start building an airport at Sriperumbudur in four months and complete it in three years.

However, experts say it is going to be a non-starter yet again as land has not been acquired for the project even though the website of National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), aimed to showcase projects to attract investors, says that land has been acquired.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is happy but the state government officials wonder how work on a new airport can be started in four months as at least 2,500 acres of land will be needed.

“There is no large tract of land that has already been identified so that it can be diverted for the airport. Sipcot had land but it has already been allotted to industries to set up plants,” said an official with the district administration.

There is no land parcel as big as 2,000 acres to acquire in Sriperumbudur area which is fast getting industrialised, he said.

“A location at Sriperumbudur was identified and was found fit for an airport almost a decade ago. A report was submitted to the state government so that land acquisition could begin. Now, it is tough to find land large enough for an airport anywhere closer to Chennai. Sriperumbudur could have been an airport by now,” said an airport official.

12/11/20 V Ayyappan/Times of India

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