Mumbai has the T2, Delhi the T3. Both Hyderabad and Bangalore have got new airports with modern facilities and run by the private sector. In comparison, Chennai is content to have an expanded terminal at the existing airport, one that is nowhere near being modern. Either we in Chennai are easily satisfied or know nothing will come out of our aspirations to have modern facilities and hence make do with what we get.
Why did the other cities get new airports and why did not Chennai also get a modern one? Quite an easy question to answer. The governments in those States wanted modern airports built to the latest standards, while that in Tamil Nadu did not want it. The airports also got built in the other States because there was political consensus, irrespective of which party was in power when the idea to have a modern airport was being considered and which party was in power when the decision was taken.
Unfortunately, no such consensus is possible in Tamil Nadu. If the DMK, when in power, proposes something and starts off on a project, you can be sure the AIADMK will try to stall it or overturn the decision when it comes to power, or vice versa. No one asks why and no one dares protest.
There are numerous instances to illustrate this political rivalry that is costing the State dear in so many aspects. Tamil Nadu and its capital Chennai suffer, and its citizens suffer in silence. The State desperately needs a political leadership that has a vision on how the State and its capital will look like. A vision that will want modern amenities without compromising on Chennai’s basic character. A vision that pitches for building an administrative city that will have the government and all government offices, residences for the chief minister, ministers, Leader of the Opposition, all members of the legislative assembly, housing quarters for the bureaucrats and government employees, with schools, colleges, shopping malls, entertainment centres, sports facilities and all that will make the administrative city self contained, and not to mention the best in class public transport system.
This will decongest Chennai, after which a planned programme of urban renewal can be taken up in the city to restore it to some semblance of modernity and liveability. A vision that likewise will improve the other cities like Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi. Will it get done? Any takers? A million dollar question.Pages: « 1 »
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