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Just promises, no progress in Trichy airport expansion project

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TRICHY: Even as 18 months have passed since the state government granted administrative sanction to acquire about 345 acres of land for expanding the Trichy international airport, the land acquisition works have not seen any major progress thus far. At a meeting on Saturday, the airport advisory committee said that a series of meetings involving Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the district administration would be convened from the second week of November to expedite the land acquisition for extending the airport’s runway from 8,136 feet to 12,500 feet.

The previous advisory committee meeting was held on June 17 last year when it had promised to complete the acquisition of 345.62 acres of the state government’s land in a year. The committee now says that the acquisition may take a year more. In all, 683.32 acres of land is needed for extension of the airport’s runway.

“Pattathammal street residents whose land is required for acquisition have agreed to take the alternative land identified near Kulapattu road in Sempattu. However, 35 landowners in Keelakurichi and Keezha Kalkandarkottai hamlets have approached Madurai bench of Madras high court seeking higher compensation,” Trichy MP, P Kumar, chairman of the advisory committee, said. He also added that more meetings would be convened from next month involving revenue and AAI officials to expedite the land acquisition.

Revenue department officials who attended the meeting said that the compensation estimated for acquiring about 40.52 acres (16.40 hectares) of the total 345.62 acres of state government land required was sent to the commissioner of land administration for approval. As the survey for initiating civil works for the new terminal building has been completed, airport authorities said that the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Rs 950 crore project would be conducted soon. The new ILS antennae installed in place of the one damaged by the Dubai-bound Air India Express flight on October 12 is likely to be inspected by the expert team from AAI on October 29. Airport director K Gunasekaran said that Trichy international airport has been rated as the top profit-making airport among the non-metro airports in the country. In the ongoing financial year, it is projected to make a profit of Rs 40 crore.


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