Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Villagers oppose land-pooling for Chennai's second airport

Chennai: The first public hearing for acquiring land for Chennai’s second airport under the land pooling scheme on Tuesday evoked a strong response from the residents of 12 villages. They opposed the proposal fearing a loss of their livelihood.

The meeting, which was to start around 10 am, was delayed by more than two hours, resulting in many villagers walking back home from the collectorate. The meeting finally began after noon and was attended by MSME Minister T M Anbarasan, Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu and PWD Minister E V Velu.

K Balaraman, Parandur Panchayat President, told TNIE that almost all land from Nagapattu in the panchayat will be acquired. “We oppose the move as it will rob us of livelihood. If they give us money, it will last for a few years. How will we survive after that? This is the land of our ancestors and we don’t want to give our land for the airport,” he said.

Ramdas, deputy panchayat president of Parandur, who also did not attend the meeting said, “We urge the government not to rob us of our livelihood.” Suresh Babu, president of Thandalam panchayat, which consists of Nelvoy, Thandalam and Kalipatti villages, said it was announced that only five persons from each village will participate. “We were asked to be present by 9.30 am.

Till noon, we were unaware that the ministers were coming. Almost all village representatives had left and only a few elderly persons were waiting,” said Suresh. “We will oppose the move to acquire our lands. Why have they not zeroed in on Pannur. Is it because the land belongs to powerful people,” he asked.

Meanwhile, Kancheepuram Collector Dr M Aarthi told TNIE that there was representation from almost all the 12 villages. Dr Aarthi said Chief Minister MK Stalin has instructed that the needs of people should be taken care of before acquiring the land.

The second airport at Rs 20,000 crore will handle almost 10 crore passengers annually. 

17/08/22  C Shivakumar/New Indian Express

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