Chennai Parandur Airport: On Republic Day, Gram Sabha Passes Resolution Against Project

Residents of Ekanapuram village, one of the 13 villages to be affected by the Parandur greenfield airport project have passed a resolution against the project during a Gram Sabha meeting held today (26 January).

This is the fourth time such a resolution has been passed.

In August 2022, Chief Minister M K Stalin announced that a greenfield airport would be built on 4,971 acres in Parandur, located around 15 km northeast of Kanchipuram, at an investment of Rs 20,000 crore with a capacity to handle 100 million passengers per annum. It is expected that the project would be completed in 2028.

Once the project is completed, Chennai would join the likes of Delhi, Mumbai, and Goa, all of which have two airports to handle increased demand for air travel.

Villagers and environmental organisations like Poovulagin Nanbargal are against the project. While villagers are worried about the loss of their fertile agricultural land and waterbodies, environmental organisations have said that the project could cause flooding and obstruct the flow of the 43 kilometre-long Kamban canal which fills nearly 85 lakes before emptying into the Sriperumbudur lake.

G Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal had said that the state government should abandon the plan to develop a greenfield airport in Parandur and instead explore the possibility of turning several airstrips in the state like Arakkonam, Hosur, Neyveli, Cholavaram, Salem, Sulur into new airports as only 20 per cent of airport users were from Chennai and the rest came from other parts of the state.

Recently, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) had filed an application for site clearance with the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s steering committee.

A high-level technical committee is also expected to soon look into the concerns of the Parandur inhabitants and environmental experts over the relocation of the residents, the presence of water bodies on this site, and the potential of flooding.

The committee is expected to recommend measures in order to eliminate water shortages in communities near Parandur and to prevent floods during rainy seasons.

Some of the ideas proposed by supporters of the project include connecting the water bodies to each other to ensure proper flow and retaining the 360-acre Periya Nelavoy lake.