Member of Parliament from Coimbatore P.R. Natarajan has urged the State Government to initiate steps to acquire land for the Coimbatore airport expansion project.
Addressing journalists in the city on Saturday, he said that the Airports Authority of India had on April 9, 2013 written to the Chief Secretary and Transport Secretary of the Government of Tamil Nadu seeking their opinion to its new proposal.
The two officers, when he and a few others met them, denied having received such letters. Based on their replies when they approached the Airports Authority of India, the latter handed over a copy of the letter to support its claim. Armed with the letter they again met the two officers but the two maintained that they had not received the letter. This was quite unfortunate.
If the two senior officers were in the dark then there was every possibility that the Chief Minister would not be aware of the AAI’s request.
This was bound to delay the land acquisition.
The new proposal envisaged two runways for the Coimbatore Airport to enable it handle wide bodied aircraft and also passenger movement in the next 40 years.
It also took into consideration the requests of the residents GKR Nagar, who had been seeking an expansion that did not include their locality. Mr. Natarajan said that in the interest of the city the State Government must act fast.
He also appreciated the State Government’s stand on the alignment for the proposed bypass connecting Kangeyampalayam with Mettupalayam. If the National Highways Authority of India was allowed to have its way, the people of Coimbatore would suffer the fate they suffered after a toll plaza was erected in Athupalam. He also condemned the decrease in funds for carrying out development works in Southern Railway. The money allotted this year was almost 50 per cent of what was allotted last year. And the next year it was likely to be reduced further.
The people of the State should protest against this in a big way to draw the attention of the Central Government.