US Consultancy Firm Louis Berger To Prepare Techno Economic Report For Chennai’s Second Airport At Parandur
Louis Berger, a US company, has been chosen as the consultant to draft a detailed Techno-Economic Feasibility Report (TEFR) for Chennai’s second airport planned at Parandur in Kancheepuram district, The Hindu reported.
In December last year, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) had released a request for proposal (RFP) in an effort to hire a consultant for the project.
Based on this, four firms had submitted bids for doing the consultancy work, out of which the construction management firm Louis Berger was awarded the contract.
It was in August 2022 that Chief Minister M K Stalin announced that a greenfield airport would be built 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.
As a first step, the TIDCO filed the application for site clearance for airport at Parandur to the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s steering committee and also issued the RFP for the detailed techno-economic report.
The TEFR report will comprise everything from a master plan, survey, financial model to social impact study, environmental management plan and environmental impact assessment for the second airport.
The project with a total area of 4,791 acres covering about 13 villages has seen vociferous protest with residents consistently objecting to it as they will have to give up their land, severely affecting their livelihoods.
Also, out of the total land area required for the airport, more than 50 per cent (2,605 acres) are wetlands. Many activists and experts, apart from the villagers, had voiced their dissent, fearing that it may cause serious damage to the environment.
To put things into perspective, residents of Ekanapuram village, one of the 13 villages to be affected by the Parandur airport passed a resolution against the project during a gram sabha meeting held on 26 January this year — this was the fourth time such a resolution was passed.
Subsequently, the state government had assured the setting up of a technical committee to analyse and recommend measures for mitigating the impact and conserve water bodies and also find an effective solution for the land acquisition issues for the villagers, including the farmers.
Following this, in March 2023, a seven-member high-level committee (HLC) was constituted to look into the environmental and land acquisition issues.
The committee headed by a retired IAS officer has hydrogeological experts from IIT Madras and Anna University and officials from the State government including Water Resources Department, TIDCO, Kancheepuram Collectorate and Commissionerate of Land Administration
The expert committee has started examining the detailed data submitted to them regarding the land, the number and extent of water bodies and other factors impacting the environment.
Subsequently, the HLC will conduct further meetings and field-level inspections before submitting its report within six months.