CHENNAI: The land for expanding Madurai airport has already been identified and the process of acquiring them would be expedited, Transport Minister MR Vijaya Bhaskar told the State Assembly on Tuesday.
Responding to a question from Madurai Central MLA Palanivel Thiyaga Rajan (DMK), the minister said for the expansion of Madurai airport, the government had approved acquisition of 615.92 acres in Tirupparankundram taluk on March 29, 2013. Of this, GO had been issued for acquiring 456.41 acres as per the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purpose Act, 1997. The estimated cost of these lands had been fixed at Rs116.20 crore.
The proposal in this regard was under consideration of the State government, said the minister, adding that once the necessary enquiries were over, compensation would be paid to the landowners, before handing over the land to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Thiyaga Rajan said the plan for expanding Madurai airport was conceived a decade ago, in 2007.However, the works were yet to be completed.
He pointed out that the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued operating licence for Madurai airport only on temporary basis citing six shortcomings. The DGCA had also specified that the licence could be extended only if these shortcomings were set right.
The DMK member said the number of flights and passengers to the airport had gone up over the years. “On behalf of the 58 MLAs in southern districts, I request the government to grant Rs 116.20 crore at the earliest,” he added.
The minister said the works for acquiring lands had to be completed jointly by revenue and transport departments. Steps would be taken to expedite the acquisition of lands quickly, he said.