Tiruchi MP to take up defence land transfer issue with Minister
Even as the district administration has forwarded a detailed report to the Commissioner of Land Administration providing details of the land that is to be acquired for the expansion of Tiruchi Airport, P.Kumar, MP, on Thursday said that he would soon meet the Defence Minister seeking the transfer of a portion of defence land for the purpose.
The Airports Authority of India had sought about 430 acres of land free of cost for the proposed expansion, envisaging the extension of the runway to 12,500 feet from 8,000 feet so that the airport would be able to handle wide-bodied aircrafts.
The area proposed to be acquired included private agricultural, Defence and temple lands. Some months back a committee was constituted under Collector Jayashree Muralidharan to expedite the land acquisition process. The committee has since conducted field inspections and submitted a detailed report to the Commission of Land Administration. On Wednesday, the Collector and Tiruchi MP Mr.Kumar convened a meeting with the officials of the district administration and the Airport to discuss the progress made in the process. The meeting was attended by S.Dharmaraj, Airport Director, T.Thiyagarajan, District Revenue Officer, J.Sekar and G.Gnanasekaran, Joint Directors of Agriculture and Horticulture respectively, and Balasubramanian, Executive Engineer (RC Division), Public Works Department, among other officials.
Speaking to The Hindu on Thursday, Mr.Kumar said a thrust was being given for the development of the airport as the Chief Minister was keen on the project and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also announced that the Tiruchi Airport would be accorded international status.
With the district administration taking steps to expedite the process of obtaining the necessary clearances from the agriculture, horticulture and HR&CE departments, it was felt that the issue of acquiring the Defence land would have to be taken up with the Union government at a higher level. According to reliable sources, the Defence Ministry was reluctant to part with its land, reportedly for construction of buildings in future.
“I have planned to take up the issue with the Defence Minister and I will meet him soon,” Mr.Kumar said and expressed confidence that the Ministry could be persuaded to part with the land considering the importance attached to the project by the State and Central government.
The runway of the airport is to be expanded over the Uyyakondan River that runs behind the airport. It has been proposed that a bridge could be built across river to lay the runway, in the same way the runway expansion has been taken up across the Adayar River in Chennai.