Vellore airport works have again hit a ‘roadblock’ with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) now delaying the handing over of land to the State Highways department for laying a one-kilometre diversion road, sources said.
It may be recalled that work was held up some time ago when AAI sought an additional 440 acres of land to handle operation of bigger planes. But this was reportedly put on hold following the State government requesting AAI to complete the airport as planned originally.
With the terminal building and the runway being on either side of the Abdullapuram-Anaicut road, the airport project will be completed only when the Anaicut road is handed over as then the runway and the terminal buildings will be linked, according to sources. The approach and exit roads to and from the terminal are also nearing completion.
Highways department officials, however, said, “The Anaicut road can be handed over only after a one-kilometre diversion road is laid at a cost of Rs 1.30 crore. The land on which this road has to be laid belongs to AAI, and though they accepted to hand the road over to us at a meeting on this issue in Chennai a month ago, we do not know what is preventing them from doing so.”
Currently, the runway portion abutting the Anaicut road has been fenced to prevent trespassing. Highways department officials in the district said they have written to the State government and also informed the district administration of the issue. Chennai AAI sources, however, said they were unaware of any issue affecting the completion of Vellore airport.