Sunday, July 15, 2007






........................ GOD BLESS ALL...........................

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007 Ministry of Civil Aviation


The Prime Minister’s Committee on Infrastructure which met here today has decided that Chennai Airport will be upgraded and modernized by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The Committee has also asked for a pre-feasibility report for a greenfield airport near Chennai.

The present airport in Chennai handle about 25 aircraft movement per hour and in the year 2006-07 it handled 97680 aircraft movement. The capacity of Airport to handle aircraft movement is expected to be saturated by the year 2014-15.

The Airport handled 2.8 million passengers in its international terminal in 2006-07. The capacity of this terminal is 3 million annually and it is expected to be saturated by 2007-08. Similarly the domestic terminal which handled 5.9 million passengers in 2006-07 has a capacity to handle 6 million passengers annually and will be saturated by 2007-08.

The Airport Cargo handling capacity is also expected to be saturated around the same time. The modernization and restructuring is expected to cost around approximately Rs.2350 crore of which cost of construction of runway, taxiway and apron would be around Rs. 1100 crore and cost of construction of terminal building, cargo building, car park and face Uplift would be Rs.1250 crore.



Monday, June 11, 2007

AAI not to take up greenfield airport in Chennai: Patel

Mumbai, June 11: Minister for civil aviation Praful Patel today ruled out the possibility of a greenfield airport in Chennai being taken up by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The civil aviation ministry has already received a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly which says the AAI should modernise the existing airport and also build a greenfield one near the city. The new airport is to be built across 5,000 acres near Sriperumbudur at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

''There is no possibility of AAI handling the greenfield airport,'' said Mr Patel while addressing delegates at third annual investors' summit organised by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Sensing that it will get Chennai and Kolkata airports, the AAI has already begun groundwork by inviting global design bids so that work can begin as soon as all clearances come.

At the existing airport in Chennai, the immediate task is to provide new domestic and international terminal. This work will be done in phases and at a cost of about Rs 2,000 crore.

Mr Patel also said that joint ventures for non-aeronautical activities at 35 non-metro airports will take off in a year. The concept of merchant airports will be cornerstone of the Vision 2020 document to be unveiled soon, he said.

--- UNI


Thursday, June 07, 2007



Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Airport to get parallel runway

P. Oppili

"Facilities will depend on extent of land acquired"

CHENNAI: Expansion work at the Chennai airport will include creation of a parallel runway and two connecting taxi tracks beyond the Adyar river, Airport Director Dinesh Kumar said on Saturday.

"Depending upon the extent of land we get, we will decide on adding a few more facilities at the acquired place," Mr. Kumar said. The expansion work would be completed within 18 to 24 months from the date the State Government handed over the acquired land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The AAI is awaiting the Board's consent to begin the expansion work. According to AAI sources, any proposal regarding airport development would be sent to the AAI Board for approval. The expansion work would begin only after the AAI authorities received a formal clearance from the Board. As per the procedure, the State Government had surveyed the areas and started the acquisition process. Once the acquisition was over, the lands would be handed over to the AAI for the expansion work, said the sources.

On its part, the Kancheepuram district administration has identified the survey numbers in four villages — Kolappakkam, Manappakkam, Tharappakkam and Gerugambakkam.

A senior officer said the survey numbers had already been given to the local panchayat officials and that they had been advised to display the same in the villages.

As of now, the district administration has completed the survey work and is waiting for the Government to issue an order. The actual acquisition process would begin after this.

An AAI source said they would first fence the entire area and reclaim it by filling the place. The AAI would construct box culverts across the Adyar to connect it to the existing airport.

The approval from the AAI Board is expected shortly and the works would begin soon after.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Prime agricultural lands to be acquired
Monday May 28 2007 12:41 IST

KANCHEEPURAM: The prime agricultural lands in Kancheepuram will be the major casualty, with the district administration announcing its plans to acquire land in four villages for the expansion of the Chennai airport.

The villages listed by the authorities for acquiring lands are Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Gerugampakkam and Tharapakkam.

According to a notification by the Kancheepuram district administration, out of the 432 acres of land in the acquisition list, 325 acres constitute wet lands. The State Government would lose just 48.38 acres of poromboke lands, while 28.23 acres constitute Defence lands and 32.20 acres of dry agricultural lands.

A total of 807 survey numbers, with an average size of less than one acre, had been notified for acquisition. Less than 10 survey numbers hold a size of above two acres.

At Manapakkam, 50.52 acres of wet lands, 7.19 acres of dry lands and 28.23 acres of Defence lands are proposed to be acquired. These include 184 survey numbers, starting from number 138.

At Kolapakkam, 103.22 acres of wet lands, 25.01 acres of dry lands and 31.65 acres of poromboke lands, comprising 129 survey numbers, starting with survey number 206, would be acquired.

At Gerugambakkam, 139.82 acres of wet lands and 6.28 acres of poromboke lands would be taken over. These include 527 survey numbers starting from number 289. As much as 31.86 acres of wet lands and one acre of poromboke land, comprising 77 survey numbers, would be acquired in Tharapakkam.

The initial resistance by the villagers was overcome by floating acceptable compensation packages, the officials said.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

PM's panel to consider airport proposal

New Delhi, May 27: A final decision on Chennai airport modernisation and the creation of a greenfield airport near the Tamil Nadu capital is likely to be taken up by Prime Minister's Committee on Infrastructure.

Official sources said that at its next meeting, the infrastructure panel would consider various aspects, including pros and cons of a new greenfield airport near Chennai, before taking a final view on the matter.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had recently announced that Chennai airport revamp as well as development of a greenfield airport would be handled by the Airports Authority of India. West Bengal government has already entrusted the Kolkata airport modernisation work to the AAI.

The DMK government was planning to have a greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur taluks near Chennai, Karunanidhi had said after a meeting of all legislative party leaders.

He had also said the existing airport at Meenambakkam would be the expanded to Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Gerugambakkam and Tharapakkam in Sriperumbudur taluk and the government would provide suitable compensation to 947 households in these areas and rehabilitate them.

On the greenfield airport, the sources, however, said the current traffic projections show that the southern metropolis does not require a second airport in the next 12-13 years. The traffic growth could be handled by the Meenambakkam airport through its expansion programme, they added.

As per official figures, the existing airport was currently handling about 7.55 million passengers annually, which was poised to grow to about nine million by 2009-10. The sources said the only thing that was clear at this moment was that the state-owned AAI would handle the development of the existing airport, for which the state government has made the required land available.

According to the Tamil Nadu government, while the greenfield airport would come up on 4,820.66 acre, expansion of Chennai airport would be carried out on 1,069.99 acre at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore.

On Kolkata's Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, AAI has already submitted a modernisation plan that is estimated to cost around Rs 2,000 crore. The funds would be raised by the AAI through its own financial strength.

Of the estimated outlay, AAI plans to spend Rs 900 crore during the 11th Plan period and the remaining amount after that.

As the modernisation plan is put into practice, the existing airport in the eastern metropolis would continue to serve the passengers, the sources said. (Agencies)

Land acquisition process begins for airport expansion

Kanchipuram, May 27 (PTI): The Kanchipuram district administration has said that the process to acquire 433.19 hectares of land in and around Sriperumpudur taluk for the expansion of Chennai Airport has begun.

A communique from collector yesterday said that 159.88 hectares of land in Kolappakkam, 32.8 ha in Tharapakkam, 146.9 ha in Gerugampakkam and 94.35 ha Manapakkam would be acquired for the project.

Tamil Nadu government had recently announced expansion of the existing airport, part of which falls in Sriperumpudur Taluk, and construction of a new greenfield airport at Sriperumpudur and Tiruvallur taluks.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Posted by Picasa


2nd Chennai airport gets TN House nod
25 May, 2007 l 0305 hrs ISTlSaurabh Sinha/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

NEW DELHI: The uncertainty over Chennai's new airport has finally ended. The aviation ministry has received the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly which says the Airports Authority of India (AAI) should modernise the existing airport and also build a greenfield one near the city. The new airport could be built in a 5,000-acre area near Sriperumbudur.

The ministry is now awaiting a formal decision from the state that would be forwarded to the Group of Ministers and PMO for final clearance. But, perhaps sensing that it would get the Chennai and Kolkata airports, the AAI has already begun groundwork by inviting global design bids so that work can begin as soon as all clearances come.
"The immediate task will be to provide new domestic and international terminal at the existing airport. This work will be done in phases and at a cost of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore. By the time this terminal reaches peak capacity in 2015, we plan to have the new greenfield ready," said highly placed sources. The new airport will come up in an area of 5,000 acres and at a cost of about Rs 5,000 crore.

Since Chennai would have two airports — with no condition being set by greenfield developer to close the existing one — the new place could be used for international and legacy carriers. The existing airport could be earmarked for low cost carriers, a practice widely adopted abroad to help keep no frill flights sustainable by offering them lower airport charges.

The decision has surprised many in the aviation industry, as earlier, there was talk of Chennai going the Delhi and Mumbai way of privatisation.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

FICCI welcomes TN govt move
NT Bureau
Chennai, May 24:

The Tamilnadu State Council of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has welcomed Chief Minister M Karunan-idhi for his bold initiatives on airport expansion.

M Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI in a press release has said that the government has formalised plans for airport expansion at the existing airport and for setting up of a new green field airport nearby without causing dislocation to large sections of the population.

He said the Tamilnadu State Council of FICCI fully supports and extends all cooperation in this endeavour of government to ensure that Chennai will become a major hub for inward and outbound air travel in the future


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chennai to get swanky new airports

Sandhya Ravishankar

MODERNIZATION PLAN: After Bangalore and Hyderabad it's Chennai's turn to get 2 spanking new airports.

Chennai: After Bangalore and Hyderabad it's Chennai's turn to get two new spanking world-class airports. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister gave a final “go ahead” to the Rs 2000 crore plan at the All Party meet on Tuesday. The expansion plan and renovation of the existing airports has given Chennai passengers a reason to smile.

"We are ready to invest Rs 2,000 crore for both the airports. Its time we go in for some expansion and world class development in Chennai,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said.

Chief Minister announced two new airports—one an expanded and renovated version of the existing airport and brand new airport called the Greenfield in Tiruvallur district.

The ambitious expansion though is facing some bottlenecks. The local residents are protesting the project since it will mean razing trees and the slum clusters form the area. Also some quarters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Alliance are opposing the mammoth investment. The All-Party meet held Tuesday however managed to assuage the ruling coalition, leaving only the opposition AIADMK discontent.

Karunanidhi promises that suburbs like Pozhichalur will not be affected by the modernization plan. Instead 1,000 acres will be acquired in areas like Girugambakkam, Manappakkam and Thuraippakkam. And the Greenfield airport will come up on 4,200 acres of land near Sriperumbudur.

Residents of areas like Pozhichalur who had protested vehemently against the airport expansion can now breathe easy. And Chennai's residents too have reason to smile. Although a trip to the new airport will mean a longer drive, it will offer much better facilities than the existing one.

Another airport for Chennai, upgrade of Meenambakkam

BS Reporter / Chennai May 23, 2007

A new greenfield airport will come up at Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur taluks near Chennai, while there are expansion plans for the existing airport at Meenambakkam, according to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

The greenfield airport will be set up on 4,820.66 acres, while the expansion of the existing Meenambakkam airport would be taken up on 1,069.99 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore.

Both the projects would be entrusted to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Karunanidhi said.

The expansion of the existing airport will be carried out on 1,070 acres spread across Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Kerugambakkam and Tharapakkam in Sriperumbudur taluk. The government would provide suitable compensation to 947 families living in these areas and ensure their quick rehabilitation, a government release said.

Karunanidhi said the government initially chose to take up the expansion in areas covering Pozhichalur, but felt it would lead to displacement of thousands of families.

“As the residents opposed the move, we decided to take up the expansion of the existing airport in the above areas,” he said.

The expansion plans were announced by Karunanidhi after a resolutions was passed at a meeting of the legislative party leaders at the secretariat on Tuesday. He said all political parties, with the exception of the AIADMK, had supported plans for the expansion of the airport.

Industry and trade bodies have been urging the state government to take up airport expansion plans forthwith.

A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) statement said passenger traffic at the Chennai airport was expected to increase by 20 to 30 per cent and reach 12-13 million by 2011 and cargo traffic was expected to increase by more than 20-25 per cent in the next four years.

The existing facilities are inadequate to handle this growth, the CII said.


Lands for airport expansion, new airport identified

Special Correspondent

Over 4, 800 acres to be acquired for greenfield airport in two taluks


1,069.99 acres to be acquired for expansion
7,115 persons in 947 houses to be displaced

— Photo: V. Ganesan

IN DISCUSSION: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi presiding over the all-party meeting on airport expansion, at the Secretariat in Chennai on Tuesday.

CHENNAI: Chennai will have a new airport soon. It will also see the expansion of the existing airport to meet the growing needs.

These were the decisions taken at an all-party meet chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He later said the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam did not agree with the resolution, claiming that many people would be affected by the airport expansion project.

Mr. Karunanidhi said that he had assured the party representative that the Government would look into all petitions. The task of construction would be entrusted with the Airports Authority of India.

Instead of the earlier decision to take over land in thickly populated areas of Ankaputhur, Gowl Bazaar, Pallavaram Cantonment and the nearby areas, the new land acquisition would be in four villages — Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Kerukampakkam and Tharapakkam. A total of 1069.99 acres would be acquired for the expansion in the villages.

In the earlier case, the number of people to be displaced was put at 60,000 and houses to be razed down at 5,000. Now, 7,115 persons living in 947 houses would be displaced. A small extent of defence land also needed to be acquired. The compensation package and relocation cost would be around Rs. 1,000 crore.

The Government would also acquire land for the proposed greenfield airport. The development of the airport and the expansion of the old airport would proceed simultaneously. As many as 4,820.66 acres spread across Tirumangalam, Mambakkam, Irungulam, Vadamangalam, Padicherry, Sirukilai, Kilai and Sriperumbudur in Sriperumbudur taluk, Tirupandiyur and Vayalur in Tiruvallur taluk would be acquired. A total of 6,540 people would be affected and 1,078 houses would be razed. The compensation would cost the Government Rs. 1,799.89 crore and resettlement of the affected people, Rs. 53.9 crore.

Officials explained that since the earlier government had already committed that it would give land free of cost for the development of an airport, it was not possible to go back on that now.

The new airport would have four runways to cater to the increased traffic. Both airports would be required given the rate at which Chennai was growing, the officials said.

New greenfield airport to be set up near Chennai

Chennai, May 22 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today announced the setting up of a new greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur taluks, apart from the expansion of the existing airport at Meenambakkam.

The expansion of the existing airport would be taken up at Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Kerugambakkam and Tharapakkam in Sriperumbudur taluk, Karunanidhi told reporters here today after a resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting of the legislative party leaders held at the Secretariat.

While the greenfield airport would come up on 4,820.66 acres, expansion of Chennai airport would be done on 1,069.99 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore, he said.

Karunanidhi said that the work for both the expansion and the greenfield airports would be entrusted to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The government would provide suitable compensation to 947 households in these areas and also rehabilitation to them.

The rehabilitation would be done in the first phase of the expansion work itself, he said.

The Chief Minister said all the parties, including the PMK, MDMK and the DMDK had supported the resolution. However, the opposition AIADMK did not support the resolution.

D Jayakumar, who represented the AIADMK at the meeting, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister "to reconsider the proposal as people in certain places have raised objections to the project."

Karunanidhi said land acquisition was estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore. The construction would need an investment of another Rs 1,000 crore, he said.

New airport in Chennai on AAI radar

Tuesday May 22, 02:10 AM

Even as the Tamil Nadu Government and Civil Aviation Ministry explore opportunities to modernise the Chennai airport on the lines of Delhi and Mumbai, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is learnt to have favoured the construction of a greenfield airport in Chennai rather than going in for a makeover at the existing site.
Officials told The Indian Express that out of the two short-listed sites at Sriperumbudur and Oragudam, the AAI had found one at Sriperumbudur ideal to construct a greenfield airport. "Both the sites have been examined and the one at Sriperumbudur appears more suitable since having an airport at Oragudam would mean a clash of flight paths with the IAF's Tambaram airfield, something which would require constant coordination with the IAF authorities," an AAI official said. He added that roughly 5,000 acres needed to construct a greenfield airport are available at both the sites.

As for the existing airport, the AAI is of the view that a logical thing would be to construct a new domestic terminal and allow simultaneous use of the cross runways there. "These things can take us through till the year 2015. During that time, a greenfield airport with two parallel runways can be readied," said a source.

The Tamil Nadu Government had recently proposed to modernise the existing airport utilising 832 acres of land north of Adyar river. And even though the Civil Aviation Ministry has asked the state Government to get issues like connecting the existing infrastructure with the new land being offered sorted out by May 31, sources say the proposal has found few takers in the ministry.

"Issues relating to land acquisition, relocation of population, flooding from Adyar river and linking of new infrastructure with existing one will need to be resolved if the TN Government's proposal to expand the existing airport is accepted. Modernising the existing airport appears technically unfeasible. Only a greenfield airport appears to be a long-term solution," said a senior AAI official.

Works amounting to Rs 221.89 crore, relating to terminal buildings, parking bays, cargo building and operations block, are currently underway at the airport. Officials said once developed, these facilities would cater to a traffic demand up to 2010.

The AAI plans to construct a new domestic terminal, expand the International Terminal, construct Phase III of the Integrated Cargo Building and new parking bays at a cost of Rs 705 crore. Development of these facilities would equip the airport cater to traffic demands up to 2015, according to the AAI.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Decision on airport expansion likely tomorrow

Chennai, May 21: The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu is expected to take a decision on the much awaited airport expansion project at a meeting of legislature parties to be convened tomorrow.

Chief Minsiter M Karunanidhi would chair the meeting, convened to elicit the views of the leaders of legislature parties, which included the opposition AIADMK, its ally, the MDMK besides DMK allies, the Congress, PMK, CPI(M), CPI and the Dalit Panthers of India.

The DMK, which came out with a proposal to expand the existing airport couple of months ago, had to put on hold its plan, following stiff opposition from the PMK, with its founder leader Dr S Ramadoss launching a campaign against the eviction of people living near the airport.

He had suggested that instead of expanding the airport, which would displace hundreds of families, the government could go in for a green field airport near Sriperumbudur, about 40 km away from the city.

Expressing concern over the delay in expanding the airport, industrial and trade bodies had warned that if Tamil Nadu did not take up the expansion immediately, Chennai would lose the chance of becoming an international hub in the South.

--- UNI


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Airport staff oppose expansion

NT Bureau
Chennai, May 20:

In a new twist to the opposition to the Chennai airport expansion plan, the employees of the Chennai airport have planned to register their protest plan by 'blocking air traffic', if lands were forcibly acquired and people evicted at Pammal, Anakaputhur and Pozhichalur areas.

Sources in the know today said the employees have planned to obstruct air traffic by staging a dharna right at the runway if lands were taken away.

The agitation planned by the airport staff is the latest twist to the expansion plan as the scheme already faces opposition from several quarters, including the PMK, a key ally of the DMK.

The employees of the Chennai airport have decided to float an as an alternate plan, according to which the vast expanse of lands in Kelambakkam and Oragadam near Chennai could be utilised to build a new green field airport, sources added. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had planned to modernise airports in the metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai. and works have begun in most cities. It was decided to provide state-of-the-art facilities at these airports and plans were drawn up to expand the existing ones.

While works at Hyderabad and Bangalore airports are nearing completion they are expected to commence operations from next year.

However, the plan to expand Chennai airport suffered a jolt after the residents of Pozhichalur, Pammal and Anakaputhur opposed the decision to take away their lands for the expansion.

They staged several protests and the issue took a turn with various political parties pitching in their support for the protesting people. The Communists and the PMK, who are allies in the DMK-led coalition, also opposed the move and suggested alternative plans to the State government.

They wanted the government to go in for expansion at places like Kelambakkam and Oragadam instead of displacing hundreds of thousand of families at Pammal and adjoining areas.

However, the Civil Aviation Ministry had reportedly turned down their suggestion.

In this backdrop, to find a politically and socially acceptable solution, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has convened a meeting of Legislture Party leaders on Tuesday to discuss the vexatious issue.

Meanwhile, sources said that as a last resort the airport staff would sage a dharna at the runway if a people friendly solution was not hammered out.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

All-party meet on city airport

Chennai, May 15: The government will be calling an all-party meet on May 22 to discuss the expansion plans of the Chennai airport, according to a government pressrelease here on Tuesday. “Chief minister M. Karunanidhi has already sent invitations to leaders of various legislative political parties urging them to participate in the meet,” it said. The Struggles Committee, formed by the residents of four villages, had been organising several protests and demonstrations against the expansion project since March 2006.

The demonstrators fear that over 4, 200 houses and places of worship would be demolished if the expansion project was implemented in a site covering Pozhichalur, Pammal and Cowl Bazar and its adjoining areas. The residents were protesting against the expansion move and were sending faxes to Mr M. Karunanidhi urging him to give up the airport expansion project. The CPM and the PMK, major allies of the DMK, were also putting pressure on the government, seeking alternate site for the proposed Greenfield airport.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Indecisiveness bane of airport modernization

The Parliamentary panel has tabled a report that has listed indecisiveness on the part of the Civil Aviation Ministry as being a significant reason for stalling airport modernization

New Delhi: “Indecisiveness” on part of the Civil Aviation Ministry was preventing the modernization process of Kolkata and Chennai airports, according to the Parliamentary panel.

Privatized airports like Delhi and Mumbai were also not providing desired amenities to air travellers, the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said in a report tabled in Parliament today.

“The Committee finds that the modernization and expansion of some metro airports, particularly Kolkata and Chennai, are on hold and privatized airports like Delhi are not giving desired amenities to air passengers,” the panel, headed by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, said.

The report also cited that the Union Tourism Ministry was “finding it difficult” to get space at Delhi and Mumbai airports to display publicity material meant for information to foreign tourists.

Regarding modernization of Kolkata and Chennai airports, the parliamentary scrutiny body said it was “constrained to note that the indecisiveness is preventing” the modernization plans of the two airports.

Profits of Air India and Indian had declined and their merger and proper synergization of resources could enhance physical and financial performance of state-run carriers.

It recommended that a proper exercise should be carried out to identify the likely expenditure involved in the merger of the two state-owned carriers and provision for it should be made accordingly in the budget at the Revised Estimates stage.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Plan to modernise Chennai airport

Special Correspondent

State Government also examining option of a greenfield airport

CHENNAI: "The Government has decided to go in for modernisation and expansion of Chennai airport in coordination with the Government of India.

The State Government is also examining the option of establishing a greenfield airport," Transport Minister K.N. Nehru informed the Assembly on Friday.

The Transport department's policy note, which was taken as read by the Minister, stated that through expansion, the State could meet its future requirements without difficulty.

"In the recent past, Chennai has grown as a hub for foreign direct investment in sectors such as manufacturing, automobile, electronic hardware, information technology, services, etc. Such investments are still growing. Apart from this, a large number of foreign investors such as Ford, Hyundai, Saint Gobain, Motorola, Nokia, Dell, Flextronics, Mahindra Renault etc., have made Chennai their production base. Tamil Nadu is also an important destination for foreign tourists. In the recent years, the Chennai airport has recorded significant growth in both passenger traffic and cargo movement."

It was keeping all these in mind that the expansion of the Chennai airport was decided, it said.

On expansion of non-metro airports, the State Government is taking steps to provide land for their expansion and modernisation in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Tuticorin

Ramadoss for greenfield airport at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur

Special Correspondent

Says land is available in both areas

CHENNAI: PMK founder S. Ramadoss said here on Thursday that considering the demands of air traffic in Chennai in the coming years, a greenfield airport could be set up at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur, near here, on 5000 acres. Land was available in both areas.

Addressing a press conference, he said the number of domestic passengers in Chennai airport had gone up by 10 per cent in 2006-2007 compared to the previous year, and international passengers by 38 per cent.

The cargo handled was two lakh tonnes, 13 per cent higher than in 2005-2006. In the next five years, demands of air traffic in Chennai are expected to go up further.

The existing airport may not be able to meet the demand.

It had been reported that 800 acres would be made available by acquiring land north of the airport. Even if this expansion were done, at a cost of over Rs.1000 crore, the facility would reach saturation point in seven-eight years.

Hence, the Government should consider whether the existing airport should be expanded or a new airport set up as long-term strategy.

Explaining the added advantages of a greenfield airport, he said the existing airport could also be operated.

No privatisation

The PMK leader, who had earlier opposed takeover of land at Pozhichalur for airport expansion, said be it expansion or creation of new airport, the work should be undertaken only by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). On no account should it be privatised.

The State Government should write to the Centre in this regard.

Stressing the demand, he had already written to the Civil Aviation Minister and the Prime Minister. Following pressure brought on the Centre by the CPI (M) and the CITU, expansion of Kolkata airport had been given to the AAI.

"Huge interest"

Dr. Ramadoss said he had information that "certain forces" were evincing "huge interest" in ensuring that the Chennai airport expansion work was privatised.

He said the airport, which was making profit, should not be privatised.

The Chief Minister should convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

AAI gets nod for work on Kolkata airport upgrade.
Our Bureau

New Delhi April 18: The Kolkata airport upgrade will get under way in the next few months, with the Prime Minister Council of Infrastructure on Wednesday giving the go ahead for Airports Authority of India (AAI) to take up the project.

Briefing newspersons after the meeting, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel, said the project, which would be completed in phases, would eventually cost Rs 4,000-5,000 crore.

"The entire project will be taken up by AAI from monies generated through internal resources. No subsidiary or special purpose vehicle will be set up for the project. During the first phase, which is to be completed in 2009-10, the annual handling capacity of the airport would increase from the current 5 million passengers to 20 million passengers. During this phase an investment of Rs 1,500 crore is envisaged including Rs 1,300 crore for development of a new terminal building," Mr Patel said.

Chennai airport: A decision on modernisation of Chennai airport would be taken after the State Government comes back to the Centre with a proposal on making land available.

"The State is expected to revert to the Centre by May 31 with a proposal on making land available. Already about 800 acres have been earmarked but there are some other issues as a connecting corridor is not there. The airport will be upgraded in consultation with the State Government," Mr Patel said.

Mumbai airport: Acknowledging that there was some delay in the ongoing modernisation of Mumbai airport, the Minister said that the Group of Ministers headed by the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, is to meet here on April 23 to take a decision on unlocking Salt Pan area in Mumbai. The modernisation process has slowed down, as the State Government has been unable to move people from slums around the airport to areas earmarked for them in Salt Pan areas in other parts of the city.

"The delay in Mumbai airport modernisation is mainly because the terms of the State support agreement have not been fulfilled. The State Government has been unable to take action on rehabilitating slum dwellers and this is delaying the process," the Minister said.

Govt. approves Kolkata airport modernisation plan
New Delhi, April 18 (PTI): The first phase of modernisation of Kolkata airport will be completed in three years, with the Government today giving formal approval to Airports Authority of India to start work on the Rs 1,542 crore project.

On completion of the first phase by 2009-10, the airport would have a new terminal, another runway and sophisticated communication and navigation system (CNS). The revamped airport would be able to handle 20 million passengers compared with five million now.

"The Infrastructure Committee, headed by the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh), today gave its formal approval to the modernisation plan of Kolkata airport. Work will start in the next few months," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters after the Committee meeting here.

"Now, we will move the Public Investment Board to get clearance and then start work," he said.

On modernisation of Chennai airport, Patel said the state government has been given a month's time to clarify its position on the land allotted for expansion of the airport.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Govt to finalise JV partners for airports update
Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:42 [IST]

New Delhi:Carrying forward the process of modernisation of airports, the government today indicated that it will complete the process of selection of joint venture partners for upgrading at least 12 non-metro airports by December.

The issue of modernising 35 airports and the time-table for completing the exercise was discussed at the meeting of Committee of Infrastructure held at Planning Commission under chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

In a presentation before the Committee, the officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry informed that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already appointed UTI Bank and Capital Fortunes Ltd as consultants for the city side development of 12 airports each in the North East region and Western and Southern region respectively.

The government proposes to complete modernisation of all non-metro airports by 2010.

As regards modernisation of metro airport at Chennai, the government is considering to set up a new airport either at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur as it may not be feasible to expand facilities at the existing airport for fear of flooding of Adyar river.

According to sources, the development of a greenfield airport at Oragadam, which is about 40 kilometres from city centre, would involve displacement of 5,500 people. In case the government narrows down to Sriperumbudur, more than 12,000 persons would have to be rehabilitated.

CII-TN unit wants expansion of Chennai airport

PTI[ TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2007 04:30:25 PM]

CHENNAI: Industry body the Confederation of Indian Industry-Tamil Nadu today sought the expansion of Chennai airport and setting up of satellite townships in the state.

Addressing reporters here today, Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman, CII-Tamil Nadu, said a second runway at the existing airport was necessary.

"Two airports make a lot of sense in the long term. Many countries in the Asian region have two airports. Tokyo has two airports...many others have two airports," he said.

Stressing upon the need for a satellite city he said, "A satellite city is mandatory. Without a satellite city, we cannot address many fundamental programmes." He added that three satellite cities were already emerging without actually creating them. "Old Mahabalipuram Road, Sriperumbudur and Maramalai Nagar have become satellite cities," he said.

While making a presentation on CII's annual plans, Srinivasan said, creating a 20-year vision for competitive and inclusive Tamil Nadu, with skill initiatives, building inclusive cities, promoting inclusive entrepreneurship and celebrating the cultural heritage of the state were some of the key focus areas for the year.


Monday, April 16, 2007

High-level meets will look into Chennai airport modernisation
Ashwini Phadnis

PM infrastructure panel schedules meeting on April 18

New Delhi April 15 A clear picture on the modernisation of Chennai airport is expected soon, with two high level meetings scheduled to be held here next week to discuss the matter.

Official sources told Business Line that the Prime Minister infrastructure committee meeting that is scheduled to meet here on April 18 would initially consider the proposal.

"The emphasis and focus at the Prime Minister's committee meeting will be on Chennai and Kolkata airport although the meeting has been called to discuss issues connected with the aviation sector as a whole," a senior Government official said.

The matter will also be discussed at a meeting scheduled for April 20 between the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and senior officials of Airports Authority of India are also expected to be present at this meeting.

While the West Bengal Government already indicated that it wants the AAI to carry out modernisation of Kolkata airport, a decision is yet to be taken on how Chennai airport should be modernised.

The Tamil Nadu Government has already written to the Centre making available 835 acres of land on both sides of the Adayar River. The State Government is keen to follow the joint venture route for modernising Chennai airport.

The proposed modernisation has also caught the imagination of the private sector with the Tata Group having entered into a strategic alliance with Changi Airports International (CAI) to take up airport projects here, including the proposed modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata airports.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Airport inside or outside?

With the residents of Pozhichalur up in arms, the expansion plans of the Chennai international airport is getting mired in controversy. Expanding the airport means that close to 1,500 acres of the surrounding areas like Anakaputhur and Pozhichalur (a town which is situated north west of Pallavaram) will be taken over by the government. But the residents want none of it. They want the government to look for a site that would not affect human habitation.

Most of the residents feel that the airport should be expanded in the outer region of the city, say a place like Sriperumbudur. The first advantage would be that traffic congestion will be minimised and the airport can have more modern facilities to handle high volumes of cargo and passenger carriers.

Moreover, it would be close to the IT majors plus in future the area might attract more IT parks and become affluent. Furthermore, heavy cargos can be handled smoothly to create more revenues.

While looking at the negative aspect if the airport is expanded within the city, the vacant land which you get may not be adequate to fit in the airport facilities according to international standards.

Plus the passenger traffic would become more congested and with limited space and handling of floating passengers would be a nightmare. Further, air traffic (landing and take-off ) would be affected due to poor visibility - particularly during rainy and foggy days as there would be more number of residential and high rise flats in the vicinity of the airport.

Now the Tamil Nadu government has assured that it will acquire 700 to 800 acres of land near Chennai airport in order to build an extra runway. But the residents of Anakaputhur and Pozhichalur are dead against the proposal. They say there will be enormous noise pollution which would affect the elderly, plus they fear that if there is any mishap in the functioning of the aircraft it would affect the people living near the place.

“We do not have enough money and I’m a retired government employee; how will I look for a new house and relocate at this age,” asks a resident of Pozhichalur.

The state government has always shown interest in a greenfield airport coming up in Chennai in addition to the existing airport and had short-listed two sites, one at Oragadam village and the other near Sriperumbudur.

As far as the airport officials are concerned, they feel that any modernisation would lead to privatisation. An official at the airport said, “If the airport is going to be modernised and privatised it would affect the public as parking fee will rise, air fares will be hiked, passenger fee and entry ticket will be also be increased. On the other hand, employees working in the airport will be affected further as they will lose all existing benefits by the government.”

But there is no gainsaying the fact that the Chennai airport, with its burgeoning traffic and cargo, needs to be expanded. And the best way to achieve this is to locate the airport at a distance from Chennai city, where there would be scope for easy expansion and handling of the growing traffic.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What they say An air of uncertainty hangs over airport proposals

City Bureau

Will the metropolis get a greenfield airport or just have a new terminal added to the existing facility?

CHENNAI : Hyderabad and Bangalore will have new greenfield airports, perhaps by 2008. Chennai had a head start over them in becoming an aviation gateway to southern India. More international airlines and flights connect Chennai to the rest of the world, and many of these airlines want to increase their services to the Tamil Nadu capital.

But strangely, Chennai's pitch for comprehensive modernisation and expansion of the existing airport has not taken off. Between the Centre and the State Government, a decision needs to be taken whether the metropolis will have a greenfield airport, or just have a new terminal added to the existing facility near Meenambakkam.

Once that decision is taken, the rest may fall into place. If it is going to be a new airport, it may require about 5,000 acres of land, which becomes a critical and sensitive issue. It may take, at least, three years to get such an airport in place.

As an alternative, if the Governments settle for just another terminal building, the airport needs to be redesigned and upgraded to international standards. Even then, a sizeable extent of land becomes essential to achieve that objective. But land seems to be the toughest challenge ahead for the State Government and the Airports Authority of India.

Depending on the decision, the Centre, that is, the Aviation Ministry and the AAI, will have to decide the model: should it be an AAI project, or go the Delhi or Mumbai way to a private sector- led consortium.

The delay in taking this crucial decision on the future of the Chennai airport may even impact its current position and role in the aviation network — international, regional and domestic. Already, aircraft movement, passenger traffic and cargo handling have shown a steady and significant increase over the years. In 2006-07, the growth in the domestic passenger traffic was 38 per cent (at nearly 58 lakh), while international passenger traffic grew by 6.30 per cent (at almost 27.75 lakh). AAI sources project a 16 per cent growth in international passenger traffic, and a 20 per cent rise in domestic passengers over the next five years.

Going by the latest reports from New Delhi, it appears that the State Government may settle for a new terminal building. That is why it has reportedly identified about 700 to 800 acres of land for the expansion.

Can the existing airport handle this growth? After all, the AAI has been implementing expansion and modernisation projects here in recent years. The Anna International terminal and the Kamaraj domestic terminals were constructed in the1980s.

Airport Director Dinesh Kumar says the present expansion work will help in both passenger and aircraft movement for the next five years. But the expansion requires additional land. As soon as the required land is allocated, the development works can begin.

On the benefits of a greenfield airport, Mr. Dinesh Kumar explains that there are distinct advantages as it can be planned with a futuristic perspective. As far as the AAI is concerned, there are no plans at present to build a new airport. But, a second domestic module was on the drawing board, for which global architects have submitted their designs to the AAI.

As part of improving facilities, the Authority added 20 parking bays last year and another 16 will be added in the current financial year. The bays were used by airlines to park their aircrafts at night. On amenities for the passengers, Mr. Dinesh Kumar says on-line baggage screening system has been introduced. Chennai will be the first airport where the system would be introduced in the country. Similarly, a new slope-type baggage conveyor system will be installed in the international arrival area to replace the flat-type conveyor system.

All these are perhaps interim, adhoc arrangements and improvements.

The question before the State Government is whether a new terminal in the existing airport is adequate to meet the projected demands for at least two or three decades? Will there be enough space then to take up further expansion when required?

Or will it be a better option to go in for a full-fledged Greenfield airport that can cater to the needs of at least 30 years, with enough space for expansion? The answers to these questions may be available very soon.

(With inputs from P. Oppili and Susan Muthalaly)


What provoked residents to raise the banner of revolt

K. Manikandan

DECEPTIVELY CALM: A view of the Gowl Bazaar area adjoining the airport. — Photo: A. Muralitharan.

CHENNAI : Modernisation or expansion of the Chennai airport has been talked about for a long time. But it was not before March 2006 that residents of Pozhichalur, Gowl Bazaar and Anakaputhur woke up to rude shock and confusion.

And the confusion has lasted a year, with no categorical announcement from the Government on whether their houses would be acquired for the Chennai International Airport Project or not. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority issued a note (U.O. Note No. R1/1363/2006) on February 23, 2006 with a copy of the land plan schedule about the areas covered under the proposed airport restructuring and modernisation. This included re-routing a sizable length of the Adyar river too.

A couple of months earlier, on December 14, 2005, the Transport Department passed a Government Order (GO Ms. No. 91), which said that the Government would hand over 583 hectares of land on the northern side of the existing airport as per the plan received from the Airports Authority of India. Detailed reports appeared in these columns about the number of buildings and extent of land to be taken up for the proposed project. This provoked hundreds of residents to pour out onto the streets, raising objections.

Struggle panel formed

The residents have since come together, organised a series of meetings, got the support of parties, most importantly, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and formed a struggle committee. They have not objected to airport modernisation per se, but have only opposed the land acquisition plan for the project.

Change in plan

The residents have, in their possession, a letter written by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation to the CMDA in May 2005 about the State Government's proposal on the project and land requirement of about 2,000 acres in Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Tharapakkam, Tandalam, Kovur, Periapanacheri and Gowl Bazaar. "How did the plan change all of a sudden? Who were behind this change in a matter of months, and why has the Government remained adamant on its stand of not initiating a dialogue with the people?'' asks B. Kumar, Struggle Committee secretary. The residents' charge is that the sudden change in plan was only to save a few vested interests They regret that there is no transparency.

They want the Government to stick to the original plan and not to take over land where hundreds of houses have already been built.

What they say

D. Sudhakara Reddy, Air Passengers Association of India President

One of the major facilities for domestic growth is an airport ... the Government should pursue expansion at the existing airport. This would enable Chennai to have a high quality airport expanded in the shortest time and at a reasonable cost.

The expansion could be undertaken by providing adequate compensation to the residents (of Pammal, Pozhichalur, Anakapathur and Gowl Bazaar) — either through relocation or financially.

Expansion should be preferred, as a greenfield airport would need, at least, 5,000 acres of land. Acquisition of land alone may take three to four years. Thereafter, it will take 5 to 10 years for building the airport and bringing it to operation. The Government would also need to invest heavily on highways and railways link from the airport to the city.

With Bangalore and Hyderabad set to have new airports by 2008, Chennai will lose its primacy as a metro.

B. Kumar, secretary, Struggle Committee

It was baffling to note the change in original plan of airport expansion. Even today the residents have not been clearly told about the change and the reasons behind them.

The work of mobilising people, coordinating, moulding public opinion and putting the agenda before the individual was probably the biggest challenge for the Struggle Committee formed by residents of Gowl Bazaar, Pozhichalur, Pammal and Anakaputhur.

Most of the people who joined the protests were new to struggles, demonstrations, meetings, preparing `maida gum', sticking posters and distributing pamphlets. But once the movement picked momentum, people's spirit could hardly be tied down.

The various forms of protests have resulted from collective decisions . Keeping people together and the cause intact all through these months is a significant achievement.

M. Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Paramount Airways

The Government should bring in various bodies involved such as airline companies, chambers of commerce and a cross-section of business fraternity in Tamil Nadu to have a consensus on how to put this on the fast track... Secondly, some of the smaller airports abroad complement the major airports. For example, the Luton airport supports Heathrow. The concept here is convenience.

Besides helping to de-congest the major airports, the smaller airports also offer easy connecting points to the port of entry. Though they are called secondary airports, the level of comfort and facilities offered is no way inferior. We should also catch up with neighbouring countries like Malaysia where you have an excellent concourse connecting the bays to the main terminal.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

State offers land for expand existing one

New airport: No takeoff

NT Bureau
Chennai, Apr 6:

The plan for a state-of-the-art new airport in Chennai seems to have run aground. Aviation authorities have reportedly decided to shelve the idea to come up with a new airport and are veering around to the view of expanding the existing one in Chennai to meet the increasing demand.

Chennai has fast developed into an industrial hub with several MNCs having set up their firms in and around in quick time. Hence the Civil Aviation Authority felt the need to come up with an airport comprising all the modcons.

Efforts were taken up by the State government to expand the airport by taking over land in Pozhichalur, Kowl Bazaar and Pammal. However several thousand people, residing in these localities, feared that their houses would be razed down and jumped into a protest.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi chose to put an end to the protests by announcing in the State Assembly that these lands would not be taken over. Instead the State government chose to allot land at Oragadam , Sriperumbudur and Kelambakkam to build a new airport. However the civil aviation authorities were not satisfied with the land allotted for the purpose.

With no proper land identified for the purpose, the expansion plans were unduly delayed. In contrast, at Hyderabad and Bangalore, land was identified much in advance for expansion of airport and the construction works are almost through. They now house all the latest facilities. It was feared that the delay in airport expansion plans in Chennai would result in international flights preferring Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Amidst all this, now reports suggest the State government has made an offer to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for nearly 700 to 800 acres of land to expand and restructure the Chennai airport.

The offer would be examined by officials to ascertain the feasibility of constructing a second runway at the airport. The sources said the Ministry would take a decision within a week.


Sunday, April 01, 2007


Chennai airport expansion soon, says Maran

Our Bureau

Hints at second runway; special groups to look into road congestion

Chennai March 31 The Chennai airport will be expanded soon, the Union Minister for IT and Communications, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, told newspersons.

Mr Maran told reporters on the sidelines of a function here that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr M. Karunanidhi, had decided that the existing airport would be expanded in such a manner without affecting the neighbourhood.

Mr Maran said this while discussing the infrastructure problems of the city, but said he did not want to divulge more details about the airport plan at this stage.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TELEGRAMS OF PROTEST: So far, the citizens have sent over 5,000 telegrams.

TN CM's mailbox full of telegrams

Sandhya Ravishankar

TELEGRAMS OF PROTEST: So far, the citizens have sent over 5,000 telegrams.
Chennai: It's an organised protest, but with a difference.

Residents of Pozhichalur, a suburb of Chennai located just behind the airport, still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword.

They are sending off over 5,000 telegrams to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to get state government to act.

Their reason: once the Chennai airport expansion plans get underway, their homes will be gone.

"Telegrams convey a sense of urgency and we want the Chief Minister to treat our problem as an urgent one. So we're sending off 5,000 telegrams asking him to consider our plight," says a resident of Anakaputhur, B Kumar.

Expanding the Chennai airport means that close to 1,500 acres of the surrounding areas like Anakaputhur and Pozhichalur will be taken over by the government.

Nearly 60,000 people will be displaced.

"We don't have any money and I still haven't paid back the loan on my house. I'm a retired policeman. At this age how will I look for a new house and relocate?" rues another resident of Pozhichalur

Karunanidhi has promised that expansion of the airport will not be done at the cost of the poor. But locals are clearly not convinced and have decided that when all else fails, re-inventing Gandhi is the best bet.

And Gandhigiri has definitely given them a brand new set of wings.


Protests delaying airport expansion, says Karunanidhi

Special Correspondent

"Suggestions of all sections have to be considered"

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi said here on Tuesday that work on the Bangalore and Hyderabad airports was progressing quickly because they did not face organised protests as in Chennai.

He was responding to a question on the delay in the expansion of the Chennai airport and the relatively quick pace at which work on the Bangalore and Hyderabad airport expansion projects were proceeding.

Here, suggestions of all sections had to be taken into consideration before taking a decision, he said.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Select suitable place for new airport: PMK

Chennai, Mar 12: Continuing its opposition to acquisition of land for the Meenambakkam airport expansion, PMK today that the state government should select a suitable place for setting up of a new green field airport.

PMK founder S Ramadoss told a press meet that the identification of place for a new airport had been hanging fire since 1999.

While the new airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad were nearing completion and were to be commissioned shortly, the land for the new airport for Chennai, which was thought of along with the airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad,was yet to be identified, he said.

"Let the present airport at Meenambakkam near here continue in its present place and another come up at a separate place. Both will have adequate traffic," he said


Residents line up at the local post office to submit their telegrams to CM Karunanidhi

Chennai residents resort to Gandhigiri
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 09:01:30 pm

A telegram addressed to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, sent by a four-year-old girl, pleads him to spare her family that is among the nearly 5000 families who will have to part with their land to make way for the Chennai airport expansion project.

Residents of many such areas that are now under threat are also following suit. In the next 3 days, over 5000 telegrams will find their way to the Chief Minister's office.

The displacement for airport expansion has been a point of contention between the government and the localities as no adequate compensation has been promised. Now, protests are getting innovative and people believe that a dose of Gandhigiri could do the trick.

"We always believe in Gandhian principles. We've held a lot of marches, fasts and even hoisted black flags to register our protests. But Chief Minister Karunanidhi has not taken note of it till now. So as a last resort we are sending these telegrams. We've already sent 600 and plan to send over 5000 so that the CM responds favourably," says Advocate Dayanidhi.

However, it remains to be seen if the government will turn a blind eye to the Gandhigiri that these people have now resorted to. For 25,000 people, this is one more desperate attempt to save their homes or to at least get a good compensation.


Monday, March 12, 2007


To Ramadoss' allegation that government officials were threatening residents near Chennai airport, Chief Secretary L K Tripathy, who was also present, answered that the Chief Minister had instructed the officials not to acquire residential lands for airport expansion.

Karunanidhi allays fears over airport expansion project

Special Correspondent

``Decision will be taken only after consulting all parties''

CHENNAI: The State Government will not acquire any land on the outskirts of Chennai, which is largely inhabited by the poor, for the airport expansion project, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Sunday.

In his usual question-answer statement, Mr. Karunanidhi made it clear that his Government had not come to any conclusion on the project. Be it expansion or development of the airport, only places, which would not cause much hardship to the poor, would be identified.

As he had repeatedly given assurance on this count, there was no need for anyone to entertain any doubt.

"Even if there is a delay in the airport expansion project, the Government will not take any unilateral decision. We will take the decision only after consulting leaders of all political parties," Mr. Karunanidhi said.

Responding to reports about Member of Parliament R. Prabhu's appeal to the Union Civil Aviation Minister for the modernisation of the Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Tuticorin airports and his emphasis on Coimbatore, the Chief Minister said the Union Civil Aviation Ministry should take it up for immediate consideration.

The State Government would extend full cooperation.

Job opportunities

On projects of airport expansion, Mr. Karunanidhi said they would facilitate establishment of industrial units, which, in turn, would generate job opportunities, improve trade and economy.

சென்னை விமான நிலைய விரிவாக்கத்துக்கு பொழிச்சலூர் அனகாபுத்தூர் பம்மல் பகுதி நிலங்களை அரசு கையகப்படுத்தாது : முதல்வர்




Airport: All-party meeting in store
CM lays cards on the table

NT Bureau
Chennai, Mar 11:

In a quick response to the salvo of PMK strongman Ramadoss that Tamilnadu government should not touch the houses of the poor for the Chennai airport expansion, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today made it categorical that the government would not act unilaterally and assured that leaders of all the political parties would be consulted.

In an official release here, Karunanidhi said that his government would never touch the houses of the poor. 'No one need to worry or fear. Even if the expansion programme gets delayed, the government would not go ahead unilaterally,' he said.

Referring to the remark of the PMK leader that there was logic and reason in the argument of people who say that the government feared touching the skyscrapers of the affluent built in violation of legal provisions, but wants to demolish the humble dwellings of the poor to turn the city into Singara Chennai, the Chief Minister said the government had razed to ground several palatial buildings in deference to court rulings.

He also said the government has not taken any decision on the proposed expansion of the Chennai airport. 'Under no circumstances, the government would acquire the lands of the poor at places like Pozhichalur, Ankaputhur and Pammal for the expansion programme. Only such locations would be chosen which would not affect the poor.' None should entertain baseless apprehensions, he explained.

In the same breath, Karunanidhi said it was essential to build key infrastructure facilities like sea and air ports and rail links to facilitate the economic growth of the State.

In reply to a question he said, 'When a region has such important infrastructure, it helps industrial and economic growth and gives employment opportunities to several lakhs of people.' Karunanidhi also stressed when the region witnesses such economic growth it helps alleviation of poverty and a better standard of life.

Govt. not to acquire land of poor for airport expansion: TN CM

Chennai, March. 11 (PTI): Assuring that the nearby land of hut-dwellers would not be acquired for the expansion project of the city airport, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said any decision in this regard would be taken only after consulting leaders of all parties.

Writing in party organ `Murasoli', Karunanidhi said the dwellings of poor people would not be removed even if it meant delay in airport expansion and no one should have any fear on this account.

Referring to PMK founder Ramadoss' statement opposing any move to demolish the huts for airport expansion, Karunanidhi said "his government will not hesitate to demolish unauthorised buildings of rich people. But, no one should entertain baseless apprehensions that the government would remove poor people's dwellings".

Ramadoss had recently alleged that government feared touching the skyscrapers of the affluent, built violating the legal provisions, but wanted to demolish dwellings of the poor.

Karunanidhi also assured that any decision in this regard would be taken after consulting with other political parties.

However, Karunanidhi said industries would flourish only in places with airport, shipping and railway facilities. This would lead to employment generation for lakhs of people and economic prosperity of the region.

He also asked the Centre to take steps to modernise the Coimbatore airport and assured that the State Government was ready to co-operate with it for such projects.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Deluge of telegrams to oppose airport expansion

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: A group of residents from Pozhichalur, Cowl Bazaar, Anakaputhur and Pammal gathered at Pallavaram Telegraph Office on Saturday to send telegrams to the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, seeking his intervention to protect their interests while implementing the airport expansion project.

At least 400 telegrams were sent, which read: "Honourable Chief Minister, Please fulfil your assurance given in the Assembly on 6.12.2006 regarding Chennai Airport expansion in residential areas." . The Chief Minister had told the Assembly that the Government was keen on ensuring that the interest of the poor and downtrodden were protected while implementing major projects.

Street-corner meetings

Various welfare groups at nearby townships, including Pozhichalur, Cowl Bazaar, Anakaputhur and Pammal, held street-corner meetings on Friday to plan protests against the airport expansion. The meetings had decided to send the telegrams

"Spell out stand on airport expansion"

Special Correspondent

Ramadoss asks Chief Minister to clarify

CHENNAI: Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader S. Ramadoss has demanded that the State Government should spell out its stand clearly on the Chennai airport expansion project.

Though Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi had given an assurance that the Government would not adopt a "brutal approach" in acquiring land for the project, he had also said that the State was negotiating with house owners on providing alternative sites. The Chief Minister had expressed doubts that even if the house owners were ready to accept the offer, those who were spearheading their cause would not agree to it. The Chief Minister's statement had created apprehension among the house owners, Dr. Ramadoss said in a statement here on Saturday.

The PMK leader said the Prime Minister had promised in Parliament that in the acquisition of land for special economic zones, the Government would adopt a humane approach. This was applicable to airport expansion project also. While the PMK was in agreement that the airport in Chennai should be on a par with other international airports, it should not be at the cost of poor people, who had constructed houses from their lifetime savings.

Instead of expanding the existing airport, the Government should think of constructing a new international airport either at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur, which would help improve the State's economy.

In a growing city such as Chennai, preference should be given to housing. Other facilities were only secondary. There was no logic in the State Government's stand that it would displace people living in Chennai to places far away from the city and create modern transport facilities within the city.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

CM office deluged by letters
NT Bureau
Chennai, Mar 10:

The Chief Minister's office at the Secretariat was deluged with more than 300 telegrams from the residents at Pozhichallur, Kowl Bazaar, Anakaputhur and Pammal today urging him to fulfill his assurance in the State Assembly that there would not be dislocation of people and livelihood during the airport expansion project.

It may be recalled that the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has stated in the House that residential areas would not be dislocated as part of the expansion project of the Chennai Airport. However, as the steps were being taken at the airport site to commence the expansion project as decided earlier, various welfare groups at nearby townships, including Pozhichalur, Kowl Bazaar, Anakaputhur and Pammal, held street corner meetings yesterday to draft a plan of action to protest against the airport expansion.

It was decided at the meetings to send telegrams directly to the Chief Minister to remind him of his assurance to the residents that they would not be shifted from their place during a reply at the House proceedings.

The aggrieved residents marched to Pallavaram Post Office and shot off hundreds of telegrams this morning. In the telegram, the Chief Minister was told to fulfill the solemn commitment of safeguarding the interests of residents during the airport expansion which he had made as a statement at the Assembly.

Struggles Committee formed in the neighbourhood to organise protests and demonstrations against the expansion project further said in the telegram that they would continue sending messages to stop the expansion work at the Chennai Airport.

PMK fires another salvo at DMK Govt.

Chennai, March 10 (PTI): Firing another salvo against Tamil Nadu's DMK government, its ally PMK today said it should not be adamant in going ahead with the expansion of the airport at Meenambakkam here.

PMK founder, S Ramadoss, who has been critical of several State Government decisions, including the setting up of satellite towns in farm lands, said in a statement that a new greenfield airport could be set up either at Oragadam or Sriperumbudur, away from the city.

This should be done instead of expanding the existing airport which, he said, would displace a number of residents in the area who had constructed houses long ago.

"Is it humane to displace them on the plea of economic development. Won't their economy be shattered, if they are displaced?" he asked.

On Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's reported remarks that Chennai will not be a metropolis if the airport is not expanded, he said a Madras High Court judge had said while delivering a verdict that Chennai was no more a city, but hell.

Expressing the hope that Karunanidhi will be firm on his assurances about handling the issue in a humane manner, Ramadoss said those who had built houses by investing their small savings should not be put to hardship.

Hundreds of residents in Ankaputhur and surrounding areas near Meenambakkam, who had received notices that their land would be acquired for expanding the airport, had sent telegrams to the Chief Minister to seek his intervention.

Over 14,000 houses and a number of places of worship will be demolished if the government goes ahead with the expansion plan and this will result in 1.5 lakh people being displaced, they said.

Pozhichalur residents keep their fingers crossed
Friday March 9 2007 10:14 IST

CHENNAI: The joint struggle by residents of suburban Pozhichalur and surrounding areas to save their houses and business establishments from being razed to pave way for the expansion of the Chennai airport entered its second year on Thursday.

Over the past year, the residents have been opposing the proposed project since it would displace thousands of persons spread across an area of 583 hectares including the colonies of Anakaputhur, Cowl Bazaar and Pozhichalur. For them, it has been a struggle marred by confusion over a lack of transparency on part of the government machinery and chaos over the fears of losing their homes.

Though the State Government is yet to officially announce on the localities which will come within the ‘expansion zone’ the residents fear that it would displace over 25,000 persons and also lead to the demolition of about 4,300 buildings including schools and places of worship.

Repeated requests to state, street-corner protest meetings by the CPM and CPI and angry outbursts against the state among other things have been a common affair in this silent suburb, mostly inhabited by members of middle-income groups and retired persons.

PROTESTS ALL THE WAY: The protests, after a point of time became more poignant and the entire Pozhichalur painted itself black, with flags hoisted all around, especially on the top floors.

ALTERNATIVES PROPOSED: Mean while, the residents also put forth alternatives, such as setting up greenfield airport. One resident even prepared plans for such an airport with the help of satellite images.

SUPPORT FROM ALL CORNERS: Cutting across party lines, the issue has earned the support of many parties. The latest to join the list is the PMK with its founder Ramadoss recently participating in a public meeting and assuring the residents of the party’s support in their ongoing struggle. The BJP and AIADMK have also pledged their support.

Besides, the Traders’ Association president T Vellaiyan and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar had also held protest meetings on the issue.

WHAT THE STATE SAYS: The ruling DMK, in whose term the issue has garnered speed, is firm on the expansion, but has not come out with clear-cut and straight answers.

However, there have been occasional hints by those in power on the issue. In fact, last Saturday, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had stressed that the expansion augured well for the economic development of the state considering which “residents should cooperate”.

His response to the greenfield concept hinted that he was not for it when he said, “The present airport is already far, how farther can the new one be situated,” possibly not endorsing the idea of having an airport outside Chennai. However, he has assured that the state will not take a hasty decision and “deal the issue in a humanitarian way”.

In fact, as a latest development, Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla who took over recently, has said that the issue will come to a finality soon. “We must get to some finality on the issue,” of land acquisition for its expansion, including construction of another runway.

“It should not go beyond two months,” he has said. The residents will be keeping their fingers crossed, till the ministry comes out with a final plan.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Decision soon on modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata airports

Special Correspondent

It may take two years to build a second runway at Chennai airport

NEW DELHI: As the modernisation process of Delhi and Mumbai airports gathers steam, the Civil Aviation Ministry is likely to take a decision in respect of restructuring of Chennai and Kolkata airports within the next two months.

While the West Bengal Government has made it clear that it will entrust the job to the public sector Airports Authority of India (AAI) for modernisation of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, the Tamil Nadu Government has indicated to the Civil Aviation Ministry that it would make the land available for constructing the second runway at the existing airport in Chennai.

"In respect of Kolkata airport we will take about a month to decide and for Chennai airport we may take about two months for taking a decision," Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters here on Monday.

He said the Ministry had received a communication from the Tamil Nadu Government but it was yet to be examined in detail.

"Indications are that the land for the second runway at the existing airport will be made available and we would also prefer to opt for this route instead of going for a wholly new Greenfield airport in Chennai which will render the existing one useless," he said.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has held discussions on modernisation of Chennai airport with the Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran and the Tamil Nadu Government too has expressed its keen desire to get the project started soon as the handling capacity of the existing airport is coming under strain every year.

During the current year, the passenger handling capacity of Chennai airport is likely to be around 7.55 million and increase to 8.9 million by 2009-10. Even if a decision is taken within a month, it may take about two years for the second runway to be built and made operational.

For the Kolkata airport, Mr. Chawla said, the AAI has submitted its plan and the total cost of modernisation would be around Rs. 2,000 crores. During the tenure of the 11th five-year plan beginning this year, the AAI would spend about Rs. 900 crores and another Rs. 1,100 crores after that period.

He said that for the time being the existing airport in Kolkata would continue to serve the air travelers but the West Bengal Government was open to adopting the private-public-partnership route as in case of Delhi and Mumbai airports for constructing a second all-new airport in the city.


Meanwhile, decks are cleared for the long-awaited modernization of the Chennai airport with a way found out of the land acquisition problem. Chawla said the issue would be sorted out in about two months.

The modernization of Chennai airport — like in Delhi and Mumbai — will be in the Public-Private-Partnership format with 51% Indian equity. The plan for Chennai had run into rough weather with widespread protests over land acquisition in the area around the airport. Some 5000 homes and 50,000 people living behind the existing Chennai airport would have to be rehabilitated for the modernisation plan. The Ministry has finally found the way out, with alternative land identified.


AIRPORT REVAMP: Aviation Minister will take two months to decide on the modernisation of Chennai airport.

Kolkata, Chennai airport revamp soon

New Delhi: According to a Civil Aviation Ministry official, a decision on the modernisation of Kolkata airport would be taken within a month and Chennai in two months.

"We have now reached a stage where we are ready to take a decision. It will not be more than a month," PTI quoted new Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla as saying.

Talking about the Chennai airport he said, "We must get to some finality on the issue of land acquisition for its expansion, including construction of another runway. It should not go beyond two months."

However, on Kolkata airport he said that the Airports Authority of India would take up the project worth about Rs 2,000 crore. While 40 per cent of it would be taken up in the 11th Plan, the remaining part would be carried out in the 12th Plan.

“While the AAI could implement the entire project out if its internal accruals, it could also depend on market borrowings on the basis of its capital accumulation worth over Rs 4,000 crore,” Chawla said.

He also announced that a PPP (public-private partnership) cell would be opened in the Ministry to vigorously pursue the development of the non-aeronautical side of these non-metro airports.

When asked about the budget proposal to levy three per cent customs duty on imported aircraft, Chawla said besides customs duty, another 16 per cent is levied as countervailing duty, three per cent as education cess and another three per cent as special duty.

"We would propose to the Finance Ministry that the 16 per cent countervailing duty should be removed on aircraft, which are not produced domestically. The countervailing duty is meant to protect domestic producers and that is not applicable in case of aircraft," PTI quoted Chawla as saying.

On withholding tax on leased aircraft and aircraft engines, which would become applicable from April one, he said all airlines, who wanted to lease planes have been advised to sign their lease deeds before this period.


Sunday, March 04, 2007


Replying to a query on the proposal on expanding the Chennai airport, he made it clear that the State Government would not blindly rush through any decision on the project. "We will adopt an affectionate and sympathetic approach in making alternative arrangements," he said.

Several issues had been raised in connection with the airport expansion project, Mr. Karunanidhi said. The Government had been holding talks to provide alternative sites for people living in huts and some middle class residents of the site selected for the project. "It is doubtful if those who have raised the issue will accept [the Government's offer] even if these residents accept it," he added.

He appealed to all sections to cooperate with the Government. No problem would arise if it was acknowledged that the project had to be taken up in public interest and that air service was important for enhancing the growth of Chennai and the entire State, he said. To another query, he said the expansion project could not be taken up on a site far off from the city. He allayed apprehensions that the displaced people would not get market price for the land acquired for the project.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Airport expansion needs cooperation :

Chennai,Mar 3: In the wake of protests by people living around Chennai airport against plans to acquire their land for airport expansion, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today sought the co-operation of all sections for the project and said it was being done to promote economic growth.

"The existing airport itself is far away from the city and the second airport at a longer distance will not be viable," he told reporters here.
People living in the surrounding villages need not fear that their land would be taken at a lower price than the market rate, he said adding the government would consider all aspects of the expansion plan and would not take a hasty decision.

Karunanidhi,who inspected the progress of works in the IT corridor (a 20 km stretch comprising IT companies near the city),said out of the Rs 205 crore allocated for the project,only rs five crore was spent during the AIADMK period. After the DMK government took over in May last, 20 per cent of the works had been completed till now and road laying for the 20 km stretch would be over by August.

Within three years,the IT corridor rpt corridor would provide jobs to three lakh employees and attract the attention of the world.
To a question, he said government policy for factories set up in IT parks were the same and it would not differ from urban to rural places. (Our Correspondent)

Published: Saturday, March 03, 2007