Second Airport Project in Chennai: Ekanapuram Villagers to Hold Protest on Monday

Villagers of Ekanapuram will take out a protest march towards the secretariat on Monday against the second proposed airport in the state capital. It may be noted that the winter session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly is set to commence on Monday.

The second airport is scheduled to come up at Parandur and according to protesting villagers, the entire legacy and history of Ekanapuram would be wiped out if the land is acquired for the purpose.

According to officials who are in a special acquisition drive as part of the airport construction project, Ekanapuram — a village in Kancheepuram district adjoining Chennai — is one of the 13 villages that would be affected by the land acquisition.

A senior officer with the revenue department told IANS, “We had tried our best to save the homes of the villagers, but we were helpless. In the Kalpakkam no-fly zone and INS Rajali nearby, we were not able to save the homes of the villagers. We are ready to pay the best compensation possible”.

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The villagers have chosen Monday to conduct a protest in front of the secretariat as it would give them an impetus with the winter session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly commencing on the same day.

The protest is mainly due to the fact that all the homes in Ekanapuram have to be removed unlike most of the other villages where some monuments or memorials were destroyed.

G. Subramanian, Secretary of Ekanapuram Village People and Farmers board, who is spearheading the agitation while speaking to IANS said that the villagers will be protesting on Monday to bring to the notice the injustice being meted out to the village. He also said that the very existence of the village is being questioned, hence the protest.

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Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has announced the construction of a Rs 20,000 crore greenfield airport at Parandur which is 59 km away from the present airport at Meenambakkam in Chennai.

The proposed second airport at Parandur is estimated to cater to traffic of 10 crore passengers a year while the present airport has a capacity of 2.2 crore passengers annually.

The state government had identified four sites and the Airports Authority of India inspected each site and had given a report. The four sites identified by the government were Pannur, Parandur, Tiruporur, and Padalam. Pannur and Parandur were shortlisted and finally, Parandur was chosen.

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