Chennai airport to sport a new look:
In the recent past, Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, has turned out to be a major attraction for foreign investments. It all started with Hyundai setting up a plant there. With that anchor investment, the state government successfully sold the region to a host of foreign companies. Indeed, Sriperumbudur has been compared to Shenzen of China.
With Sriperumbudur on one side and Maraimalainagar on the other, Chennai has regained its glory as a manufacturing hub. Apart from this, a large number of foreign investors such as Ford, Hyundai, Nissan–Renault, BMW, Saint Gobain, Motorola, Nokia and Foxconn etc., have made Chennai their production base.
Tamil Nadu is also an important destination for foreign tourists. In recent years, the Chennai airport has recorded significant growth in both passenger traffic and cargo movement. It is only natural that the airports should develop too, in tandem with the need for moving people. This in mind, the Government has decided to go for modernisation and expansion of Chennai airport in co-ordination with the Government of India. Land acquisition work to acquire 1069.99 acres for land is being undertaken by the Government for this purpose.
The Airports Authority of India, which is undertaking the modernisation programme, has proposed to spend about Rs 1,800 crore on this.
The modernisation of Chennai airport will be completed by 2010. Alongside, the State Government is also examining the option of establishing a greenfield airport at Sriperumpudur. As regards the non-metro airports like Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Thoothukudi, the State Government is taking action to acquire lands for their expansion and modernisation as per the Master Plan submitted by Airports Authority of India in order to meet the growing needs of the passengers and the cargo.
The Tamil Nadu Government has identified 1070 acres of land for the expansion of the Chennai airport. Alongside, the government will also begin groundwork for a second, greenfield airport. It estimates that 4,820 acres will be required for the second airport, which is expected to come up in the Sriperumbudur-Tiruvallur taluks.
Land acquisition for the airport expansion project will cost about Rs 1,000 crore. The Airports Authority of India, the entity that will build the airport, would spend another Rs 1,000 crore on the project.
It is estimated that only 947 houses will be affected by the project – families living in them will be paid due compensation.As on date, most of the acquisition has been completed. There has been some difficulty in buying a small parcel of land on which a new terminal would come.