New airport for Chennai, existing one to be expanded: Tamil Nadu chief minister

Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief minister, M Karunanidhi, has announced the setting up of a greenfield airport project for the State's capital, Chennai, and also plans for the expansion of the existing one at Meenambakkam.

"We will ensure that Chennai does not lag behind competing cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad in airport infrastructure," Karunanidhi said, after a meeting of legislative party leaders in the State assembly.

The expansion of the existing airport would be taken up through land acquisition at the Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Kerugambakkam and Tharapakkam villages in the Sriperumbudur taluk, Karunanidhi told reporters here today after a resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting of the legislative party leaders. The Greenfield project would be pursued simultaneously in other parts of Sriperumbudur and Thiruvalluvar taluks.

While the greenfield airport project would come up on 4,820.66 acres of land, expansion of the existing airport would be done on 1,069.99 acres in and around Meenambakkam, at an overall estimated cost of Rs2,000 crore, he said.

Karunanidhi also said that work for both the expansion programme, as well as the greenfield airport, would be entrusted to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). He also said that the government would provide suitable compensation, and also a rehabilitation programme, for 947 households in these areas.

The rehabilitation programme would be completed in the first phase of the expansion work itself, he added.

According to the chief minister, while land acquisition was estimated to cost Rs1,000 crore, the construction part would require investments of another Rs1,000 crore.