AAI chief sore over defence land issue
CHENNAI: Even as rest of the Chennai Airport sees a facelift, the issue of the defence land in which a part of the terminal expansion plan is based, remains unsettled for more than six months now.
Airports Authority of India’s chairman V P Agrawal who was in the city on Saturday showed exasperation as he revealed that the issue of defence land takeover remained unresolved. “I just want to tell them t don’t block my project. We’ve created infrastructure for them and still they refuse to budge from their stand. They (defence people) have already demonstrated that they are a stronger force. I accept that they are the big boss but why stop my work (airport expansion project)?
AAI had entered the defence property next to the international terminal in February 2009 for putting up structures there. The defence authorities had earlier agreed to the AAI proposal to construct a new communication building for the defence with signal transmitters in return for the existing structure at Pallavaram. While AAI kept its part of the deal and finished the work by May 2009, defence personnel stopped construction on the site.
“The home minister has spoken to the defence minister and the latter agreed. Even the state chief minister has taken up the matter but nothing has happened so far. I have given them ten times more than what they are giving us for expansion but they want the moon,’’ Agrawal said.