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Environment Ministry clears Tiruchi airport expansion

Bigger, better: The ₹951 crore expansion project is expected to be completed in three years

The proposed expansion of the Tiruchi airport by the Airports Authority of India involving construction of a new integrated terminal and an apron has been cleared by the Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC).

The EAC gave its nod for the environmental clearance at the end of September. The project has already been awarded to the lowest bidder — ITD CEM — with AAI issuing the letter of intent in favour of the company in mid-September.

The proposal envisages construction of a two-level integrated terminal spread over 60,723 sq mt; a multi-level car parking for 750 cars, 250 taxis and 10 buses; a new air-traffic-control-tower-cum-technical-block; and an apron for 10 Code C type aircraft among others. The AAI already has possession of the land required for these facilities, and hence, no additional land is required.

An AAI official told The Hindu that the new terminal would come up at a cost of over ₹650 crore and would be completed in three years. The cost of the overall project would be ₹951 crore.

In 2017-18, the Tiruchi airport handled more than 15 lakh passengers, both domestic and international, and the construction of the new terminal is expected to bolster passenger handling capacity over the next decade.

While recommending the project for environmental clearance, the EAC laid out more than 30 conditions to be followed while implementing the project.

Disturbance free
The committee said a detailed drainage plan for rainwater needs to be drawn up and implemented. “No ground water shall be extracted,” the committee said and also asked the project proponent to ensure that noise from vehicles, power machinery and equipment on-site does not exceed the prescribed limit. “Where construction activity is likely to cause noise nuisance to nearby residents, restrict operating hours between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” it said.

The committee also said that storm water drains were to be built for discharging storm water from the airfield to avoid flooding and water logging in the area during monsoon season or cloud bursts.


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