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Parandur Protest Against Second Airport for Chennai Completes 209 Days

Sruti MD |
No major political party in the state has extended their full support to the locals’ protest against the new airport at Parandur.
Image courtesy: Joint Movement Against Parandur Airport

Image Courtesy: Joint Movement Against Parandur Airport

Protests against the proposed second airport for Chennai crossed 209 days on February 21 as the residents of Ekanapuram and the surrounding 12 villages in Kanchipuram stood against the acquisition of farm and residential land for the project.

The people’s demand right now is that the government should stop any further work on the project.

Every night after 8 pm, 30 to 40 villagers gather at a common spot, talk about the importance of agriculture and raise slogans against the proposed airport. Most of the protesters are farmers, and they fear the loss of land would uproot them and force them to migrate to cities in search of jobs.

An informal group working under the Joint Movement Against Parandur Airport, consisting of Ekanapuram Residents and Farmers Welfare Association, oversees the gathering.

The protests began in August 2022 when ministers met the villagers for the first time and promised them that the government would pay compensation for land at 3.5 times the market value. The opposition to the airport had been consistent, but it was not a sustained mass mobilisation back then.


The state ministers held discussions with the agitating villagers twice, in August and December 2022. Besides offering an increased market value for the land, they promised government jobs for one person in each family and alternative sites for relocating those who forego land.

Yet the villagers are not convinced about parting with their native lands for the project because they lack trust in the promises being made.

Image: The 208th day of protest.

Image: The 208th day of protest.

Speaking on the 200th day of protest, T Velmurugan, MLA of Panruti and founder of Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi highlighted the 25,000-acre land acquired for Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) in 1952. He said, “They promised government jobs to everyone and higher salaries to those who gave up their land. But till now, NLC has offered jobs to only 1,800 members from the locality. Around 13,000 people have been contractual workers for the last 35 years.”

Residents of the Ekanapuram and surrounding villages passed resolutions against land acquisition for the greenfield airport in the gram sabha meetings twice last year.


No major political party in the state has extended outright support to the opposition for the new airport at Parandur.

Both the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) and the All India Anna Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) governments have been involved in the plan for a second airport to cater to Chennai’s growing air passengers.

The first attempt towards the airport was made soon after the DMK came to power in 2006. After some lull, the previous AIADMK government considered Parandur but the plan did not materialise. Following the pandemic lockdowns, the new government, led by MK Stalin, pushed for the finalisation of the location.

Congress has been working with the DMK government to materialise the project. Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Selvaperunthagai was part of the meetings held with the protesting people. He is the MLA of the Sriperumbudur constituency, a region bordering the airport.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the government to resolve the conflict and ensure the project gets executed.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) and Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NTK) have held consultations with people in and around Parandur to elicit their opinion on the construction of the greenfield airport.

CPI(M) urged the state government to ensure transparency in land acquisition and other aspects of the new airport project at Parandur.

PMK announced a seven-member committee to look into the feasibility of the project and the concerns of residents in Parandur.

Environmental groups have also strongly opposed the chosen site of the airport, stating it is rich in water bodies.


While the protests by the locals continue, the proposed airport at Parandur has triggered a spike in real estate value in the region.

Source: A commercial on YouTube.

Source: A commercial on YouTube.

The internet is filled with advertisements for purchasing land around the 5,000 acres outlined for the airport.

The Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) has planned to extend the metro rail service in phase II from Poonamalle to Parandur, approximately a 50-km distance.

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