Committee formed for runway expansion at Trichy airport
TRICHY: The much delayed expansion of the Trichy airport runway is finally taking off in the right direction with a committee being formed to thrash out all the contentious issues.
A joint technical advisory committee involving the departments of agriculture, public works department and revenue had been formed last month for the acquisition of 510 acres of land needed for the runway expansion to a length of 10,500 ft from the existing 8,136. But before the committee could transact any business the Thane tempest wreaked havoc in the Nagapattinam region and Trichy DRO P Manickam had to camp there for a couple of weeks.
On Saturday, the first ever meeting of the committee was held at the airport itself sans the district collector who was preoccupied in a Karur meeting
. Prominent among those who attended the meeting were local MP S P Kumar, airport director S Dharmaraj, DRO P Manickam and assistant commissioner (intelligence) C P Kandasamy.
However, the urgency of Saturday's meeting traces back to Monday's grievance day ruckus when farmers vehemently opposed the acquisition of about 116 acres of wetland. They complained that if the land was acquired for runway expansion, it would naturally lead to flooding during monsoon, damaging their crops in the vicinity. Speaking to TOI, the collector agreed that the wetland was both an identity and livelihood of the people. Hence, the administration was moving cautiously, despite invoking the inevitability clause. The immediately available poromboke land of 40 acres lies in bits and pieces both on the eastern and western side of the airport and acquiring them on a war footing would in no way solve the problem even in the short-term. Moreover, the defense establishment has in its possession 164 acres of land and it wants either alternative land or a price at the prevailing market rate, said MP Kumar who chaired the meeting.
The Trichy airport has been seemingly neglected despite registering the highest growth rate of 2.13% consistently during 2007-8 to 2010-11. The previous expansion program of the airport a couple of years ago, extended the runway from 6,000-odd feet to 8,136 feet, which is still shorter for wide-bodied aircrafts to land. In Saturday's meeting it was decided to extend the runway in three phases and an inspection report is expected to be tabled within a week. Since a fresh application for the acquisition of the 164 acre defense land has been forwarded to Delhi only recently by the district collector, the choice is now narrowed down to concentrating on the 188 acre dry land and the 116 acre wetland to facilitate the expansion. An application for the acquisition of the defense land was earlier given to Vayalar Ravi and now to Ajit Joshi.
In addition to this, the district administration has also expressed its willingness to pay the market price for the land to be acquired, said Kumar MP. He further said that things would move faster after the next parliamentary elections, provided chief minister Jayalalithaa had the necessary say in the next Central government.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 584599.cms