Tamil Nadu Minister S P Velumani Thursday called on Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and urged him to reconsider a new proposal by the Centre in connection with land acquisition for extension of Coimbatore airport runway.
Velumani called on Prabhu in Delhi along with Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai and presented a memorandum in this regard to the Civil Aviation Minister.
In the memorandum, Velumani, who is the Municipal Administration Minister, said Tamil Nadu initiated acquisition of 627.89 acre as early as 2010 for the extension of runway at Coimbatore and the process is reaching its final stage.
"...now, the Airport Authority of India on December 11, 2018 have requested reduction of total area to be acquired to 365 acres from 627.89 acres without mentioning any valid reasons," the memorandum, a copy of which was released to the media here, said.
The new proposal has come after the government convinced land owners to part with their land after several rounds of negotiations.
When the matter is in its final stage after litigations and agitations from the side of land owners, the minister said the fresh plan mooted by the Centre will lead to several consequences which includes possibility of more litigations.
Velumani, who is the Municipal Administration Minister, said the purpose of runway extension is to cater to the needs of industries and exporters in Coimbatore district who now depended on Cochin airport for cargo services.
Revision of the plan at this advanced stage would entail a host of tasks like redoing survey, assessment of crops and buildings, data collection, and organising negotiations again with land owners.
Also, the present momentum will be lost and it would be a huge strain to the district administration, he said.
"Considering the above facts, the request from the AAI for (downward) revision of area..from 627.89 to 365 acres for extension of runway may be reconsidered and the present process for acquiring 627.89 acres may be allowed," he added.
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