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Work on new Vellore airport hits roadblock; AAI needs more private land

While 80 per cent of work for the new airport at Abdullapuram along the Chennai-Bengaluru National Highway is complete, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) still needs 10.72 acres of private land for the project.

An AAI official on Wednesday told The New Indian Express, “We have made a request to the district administration to acquire that land, which is mandatory for getting license to fly.” The land is required at the end of the runway to prevent overshoot and/or undershoot of aircraft, which affects safety of passengers, the official added.

According to the official, only the acquisition process is pending and infrastructure work such as the runway, taxiway, apron facility, and Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower has been completed. Once the acquisition is successful, the project is expected to be finished seven months from now, the official said.

Collector P Kumaravel Pandian, who inspected the airport on Wednesday, told reporters, “As per the AAI’s request, we are going to recommend the acquisition of the 10.72 acres at a meeting convened by the Secretary of the Industries Department on June 6.” And, he stated, alternative land will be provided to the owners of the 10.72 acres soon.

Apart from this tract of land, the district administration had already acquired 97 acres for the airport. “We directed the AAI to construct a compound wall around the entire stretch of land acquired for the facility,” the Collector said.

A graveyard inside the facility was removed and an alternative area was allotted outside the facility, for which roads were now being laid, Pandian added.

Meanwhile, as per the AAI’s request, electric poles obstructing the facility were removed and works were underway to set them up elsewhere. And, we have told authorities to complete these works before the end of August, he said. (Source: New Indian Express)

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