Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Airport for Chennai near Sriperumbudur

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.

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