Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Manapakkam residents look to new govt to get back land

CHENNAI: Residents of Manapakkam and surrounding areas are pinning their hopes on new chief minister J Jayalalithaa to go ahead with the second airport at Sriperumbudur.

The residents will get back their 900 acres of land marked and frozen for acquisition for three years at Manapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Kovur and Kolapakkam to build a parallel runway for the existing airport if the state government decides to go ahead with the new airport. The parallel runway work may not be taken up if the second airport materialises.

Nearly 1,000 families who have bought land and houses through bank loans are repaying the loan even though they have no clue whether they will come to own the property in the future.

"We are planning to meet officials of the new government after they settle down. AAI will also submit the ICAO report to the government by that time, said Vijay Kumar, vice president of Marvel River View County Owners Welfare Association at Manapakam.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had put the plans to build a parallel runway on hold and announced that they would not prefer to have a new runway at the existing airport if the state government went ahead with the proposed airport at Sriperumbudur.

The government has been dragging its feet on the new airport eventhough a feasibility study by AAI showed that the 4,822 acres of land at Sriperumbudur was suitable for the project.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has also made a study and given positive feedback about building a new airport. The ICAO study report will be submitted to the new government, said a senior AAI official.

AAI also has been sitting on the parallel runway plan. In response to a right to information (RTI) application filed by J Parthipan, a resident, AAI said it was yet to carry out an economic feasibility study for the parallel runway. The response also says that AAI was reviewing the justification for the parallel runway based on the passenger growth projection.

"We are not able to sell our houses or land. Land prices have dipped. Many of the houses that were being constructed by builders are incomplete because the government froze the land for acquisition. The land should be denotified," said Vijaya Kumar.

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