Rains flood villages identified for building Chennai’s new airport – Deccan Herald

Chennai News

Residents of Parandur and Ekanapuram in Kanchipuram district have been up in arms against the Tamil Nadu government zeroing in on their villages to build a greenfield airport for Chennai on the grounds that the lands identified were not “suitable” for housing an airport as they are prone to floods during heavy rains.

The villagers now say they stand vindicated with heavy rains that lashed Chennai and its neighbouring districts last week under the influence of Cyclone Mandous flooding the large swaths of land that are to be acquired for the ambitious project. Residents posted videos of fertile land full of water on social media, reiterating their demand that the project be shelved and not implemented in Parandur.

“Our area looks like a lake during every rainy season and that is what we captured in photos and videos and published this year as a proof to what we have been saying for long. Parandur and Eganapuram are not suited for constructing an airport. If an airport comes up here, it will just float,” R L Elango, a resident of Ekanapuram, told DH.

He said the land chosen for the airport is surrounded by lakes and tanks and get flooded during monsoon season due to rains and release of excess water from several lakes in the district. “Ekanapuram alone has 350 acres of fertile land. The entire area is flooded. What will happen if an airport comes here,” he asked.

Residents of Parandur have also released videos of flooding in their land and asking government to shift the project from Parandur. “The land which got flooded is where the runway is expected to come up. Is it okay if your runway gets flooded once the airport is ready?” a villager asked.

They said around 1,317 acres of land of the total 4,000 acres to be acquired for Parandur airport are classified as porambokku (wasteland) of which nearly 1,000 acres are covered by lakes, ponds, and small water bodies.

“Over 3,000 acres of land being acquired for the project are agricultural land. It is a fertile area. Why should you raze down fertile lands and build an airport,” the villager asked.

However, the government seems to be firm on going ahead with the project. Sources said the government will constitute a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) and College of Engineering, Guindy to study issues related to water flow and wait for the Detailed Techno Economic Report (DTER).

The new airport, which is expected to be built at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, will have two runways, multiple terminal buildings, taxiways, aprons, and cargo terminal among other infrastructure. It is being built to handle about 10 crore passengers a year.

The consultant, apart from preparing a DTER, will also come out with a detailed Master Plan to make the proposed airport and study the economics of stopover of the over-flying aircrafts at the new facility, possible diversion of cargo movement from other airports, and short term & long term parking space for cars, buses, cargo vehicles and staff vehicles.

Though the number of flights and the daily footfall have increased manifold over the years, the city is bereft of a swanky airport like the ones Bengaluru and Hyderabad boast of. The AAI has been expanding the terminal buildings in the existing airport to cater to the ever-increasing rush but a new airport is long overdue.

Besides Chennai, Tamil Nadu has four operational airports – Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, and Thoothukudi. The state government has now commissioned a study to explore the feasibility of setting up an airport in the industrial city of Hosur located just outside Bengaluru.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiemh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmRlY2NhbmhlcmFsZC5jb20vbmF0aW9uYWwvc291dGgvcmFpbnMtZmxvb2QtdmlsbGFnZXMtaWRlbnRpZmllZC1mb3ItYnVpbGRpbmctY2hlbm5haXMtbmV3LWFpcnBvcnQtMTE3MjA2OS5odG1s0gF-aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZGVjY2FuaGVyYWxkLmNvbS9hbXAvbmF0aW9uYWwvc291dGgvcmFpbnMtZmxvb2QtdmlsbGFnZXMtaWRlbnRpZmllZC1mb3ItYnVpbGRpbmctY2hlbm5haXMtbmV3LWFpcnBvcnQtMTE3MjA2OS5odG1s?oc=5