In protest against planned airport, Parandur villagers say they will relocate to Andhra

| | Chennai
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In protest against planned airport, Parandur villagers say they will relocate to Andhra

Monday, 17 June 2024 | PTI | Chennai

Residents of Parandur and neighbouring villages in Kanchipuram district have announced their decision to relocate to Andhra Pradesh to draw the Tamil Nadu government's attention to their nearly 700-day-old protest against the greenfield airport proposed to be established near here.

The Tamil Nadu government issued the notification for acquisition of land for the Parandur airport soon after the results of the Lok Sabha polls were declared.

 Chief Minister M K Stalin had in August 2022 announced that a second airport for Chennai would come up at Parandur at an estimated outlay of Rs 20,000 crore that can handle 10 crore passengers annually.

The government's decision did not go down well with the residents of 13 villages who immediately commenced their strike stating that the project would affect their livelihood as majority of their farm lands would be acquired for construction of the airport.  However, the state government has assured that the villagers would be 'adequately compensated.'

Nearly 15 protesters have planned to call on Chittoor district Collector on June 24 and seek permission to move to Andhra Pradesh.

"We have planned to meet him on June 24 as our protests will enter 700th day. The Tamil Nadu government is not showing any interest to address our demands. Initially, about 15 members are planning to relocate," G Subramaniyan, secretary, Villagers Against the Parandur Airport Movement, told PTI.

"We want the Tamil Nadu government to invite us for talks. They should withdraw their proposal for the airport. We are firm in our decision," he added. Residents of Ekanapuram, Nelvoy, Valathur, Ediayarpakkam, Madapuram, Akkammapuram villages surrounding Parandur have been on strike since August 2022 urging the government to withdraw its decision.

Their agitation will enter its 700th day on June 24.

According to sources, the government has issued a notification recently to initiate land acquisiton, setting the ball rolling for the project.

As of now the government is proceeding with its plan to set up the airport. "It has issued notifications as well. We want our demands to be addressed," Subramaniyan said.Considering the growing passenger and cargo volumes, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDCO) took up the work for identifying the land for another airport as the current facility in Meenambakkam in Chennai can only handle upto 3.50 crore passengers. Whereas, the new airport will be able to handle 10 crore fliers annually.

Four sites were selected for the airport and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) recommended two of them and finally Parandur was zeroed in on.

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