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Govt to go ahead with Aranmula airport

Govt to go ahead with Aranmula airport

Thiruvananthapuram: State Government on Wednesday said it would go ahead with the Chennai-based KGS group promoted Aranmula Airport project, notwithstanding the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s opposition to it.

“Permission for the Airport was accorded by the previous LDF government and government is of the view that the Airport is necessary,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

Chandy was reacting to the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee led by CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury to shelve the airport project holding that permission for the airport was obtained after violating rules.

“There is no change in the stand of the government, which has a 10 per cent stake in the project,” Chandy added.

The panel in its report had said permission was granted for the airport after overlooking the rule that two airports within 150 kilometres are not accepted.

The airport is constructed by the KGS Group in Pathanamthitta district at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore. Initial investment was Rs 500 crore. Centre’s permission for the project was obtained on August 17 last year.

Meanwhile, ‘Aranmula Paithruka Grama Karmasamithy’ (protest committee) demanded a detailed probe into the land dealings, financial transactions and political-bureaucratic interventions in favour of the proposed airport at Aranmula.

In a statement, APGK chief patron Kumanam Rajasekhraran said Centre should not have accorded approval to a project that has violated land laws, environmental rules and moreover, not obtained environmental clearance.

Clearance Certificates by the Pollution Control Board and EnviroCare (Private) were granted without assessing environmental impact, he alleged.

The project is already embroiled in controversy with a group of environmentalist led by well-known poet Sugathakumari opposing it holding that the airport’s construction would adversely affect ecology of the area and there was no need for an airport at Aranmula.


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