CHENNAI: State Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Saturday said that the current and future growth of Chennai and its surroundings would stagnate if a new airport is not developed here before 2028.
Detailing the benefits of the proposed Greenfield airport at Parandur in Sriperumbudur, Thangam Thennarasu said that developing a new airport near Chennai is essential to cater to growing trade, industry, tourism, air passenger and freight requirements in not only Chennai metropolis, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu, but also south Indian states.
Role of a new airport is imperative to connect Chennai to other major cities in the State and country besides cashing in on global growth, the industries minister said.
He also added that the existing airport at Meenambakkam in Chennai, which was in the third position in domestic air passenger traffic in 2008, has slipped to fifth position now, while Bengaluru, which was in fifth position in 2008, has grown in comparison after developing a new airport there.
Bengaluru, Hyderabad air passenger traffic grew more than Chennai:
Pointing out that passenger traffic at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports grew by 14 and 12 per cent respectively, against the 9 per cent of Chennai, the minister cautioned that Tamil Nadu was at the risk of losing the benefits of air traffic and related economic cum industrial growth if a new airport were not developed in Chennai before 2028. “Hence, the proposed greenfield airport in Parandur has been designed to cater to the air traffic requirement for the next 30-35 years and handle 100 million passengers per year,” the industries minister added.
Rs 100 spent on air transport will fetch Rs 325 economic benefits:
Reasoning that about 4,700 acres were required to develop the infrastructure, including space to accommodate large aircrafts and terminals, Thangam cited ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) study and said that for every Rs 100 spent on air transport, economic benefits to the tune of Rs 325 could be gained and for every 100 direct jobs, 610 persons indirect jobs would be generated.
Assuring to provide more than the market price for rehabilitation and resettlement of people donating land for the Greenfield airport project, the minister said that a high-level technical committee would be set up for recommending new technology and alternate ideas to develop and maintain water bodies in and around the site of the airport and recharge groundwater in the area. Guaranteeing that it would prevent water shortage and flooding in Parandur and adjoining villages, the minister said that the waterbodies in the project area would be networked with those in adjoining areas and connected to drains to fulfill the irrigation requirement of agricultural lands.
It may be noted that ever since the Parandur airport project was announced the local villagers have been opposing the project stating that the project would endanger thier livelihood.