Cabinet approves new Heathrow runway plan; Indian community hails decision

AFTER years of delays and oppositions, the government is finally going ahead with the plan to build a third runway at Heathrow, and the sizable Indian community in west London is ecstatic.

This third runway is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and members of the Indian community say this decision will provide a much-needed boost to west London’s economy.

The £14-billion runway, expected to be completed by 2026, will be privately funded. The project had faced stiff opposition from several MPs because it involved flattening at least three villages around Heathrow.

But Harsev Bains of the Indian Workers Association told Hindustan Times that he was “absolutely delighted” with the clearance. “The Indian diaspora, historically located in Southall due to the proximity of Heathrow, have come to rely heavily on key employers at Heathrow airport after the demise of manufacturing industry during the years of Tory rule under Margaret Thatcher,” Bains said.

“This was long overdue. Community and environment issues must be addressed as we progress and we will continue to monitor and apply vigilance, but the decision will provide a much-needed boost to the west London economy,” added Bains.

However, there are many who still believed that the proposed third runway would be bad for the environments. Opponents believe that the expansion would increase noise pollution and affect air quality.

John Stewart, chair of the campaign group Hacan, said communities would “face a tsunami of noise” with a third runway. “This is a bad day – many people under new flight paths will find their lives changed forever,” he said, according to BBC.