State government has almost completed acquisition process

Airports in Madurai and Tuticorin will soon get additional land for their ambitious expansion plans. The State government has almost completed the necessary formalities for acquiring land and vast stretches will soon be handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Land acquisition for public projects is a two-stage process, involving a preliminary notification and a final one for acquisition.

D. Devaraj, Regional Executive Director, AAI Southern Region, told The Hindu that in the case of Madurai, the State government is on the verge of issuing acquisition notification. The State has to pay compensation to those who parted with their land. In Tuticorin, the process of issuing acquisition notification would be completed soon. Once these processes are completed, the AAI would get the additional land in Madurai and Tuticorin.

Mr Devaraj said the AAI had asked for 615 acres of land in Madurai to take up expansion work. Of the total extent, patta land accounted for 433 acres.

The government held a public hearing and issued a preliminary notification for acquiring this extent. After this process, it would issue the acquisition notification. As the remaining 182 acres of land belonged to the government, it would be handed over to the AAI, he said. In Madurai, the expansion was possible only if the road leading to Aruppukkottai was diverted.

The State government had to re-route the road before issuing the notification.

As far as Tuticorin was concerned, the AAI had asked for 586 acres of land for expansion. The government has already issued the preliminary notification. The acquisition notification would be issued soon, and compensation paid to the patta holders, before the land is handed over to the AAI.

With regard to the Coimbatore airport expansion, the AAI had asked for 633.54 acres of land and the government has already called for a public hearing.

Acquisition was unlikely to be a problem, as much of this extent was already with the State and Central governments, Mr. Devaraj said.

The AAI had also asked for land in Tiruchi for expansion. However, the State government had not issued administrative approval for this, said an AAI officer.

The authority wants additional land for expanding the runways, constructing additional terminal buildings to cater to the increasing passenger movement, the air traffic control tower and other facilities.