Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran and poet Sugathakumari Friday demanded that the government repeal its decision to have 10 per cent stake in the Aranmula international airport project.
Sudheeran and Sugathakumari told reporters here that the government decision had been made disregarding the serious findings of the Assembly committee on environment that had cited the lapses committed by various officials in reclaiming paddy fields and violation of rules.
The Cabinet decision amounted to whitewashing the previous LDF government’s decision to grant permission for the project without conducting the mandatory studies, including the environment impact assessment. This would create a wrong precedent, they said.
They said that the government participation in the company would help the promoters to gain undue advantage and help to bypass the land use rules and paddy field and wetland conservation rules.
The Kerala government on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the country's first private international greenfield airport project, which is being developed by KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district.
The proposed airport project had earlier got all the necessary clearance from the central government.
The government also decided to have 10 per cent equity in the project and to appoint a member in the board of directors of the company managing it.
The proposed airport is coming up about 110 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. The famed Sabarimala temple is located 30 kilometres from the project site.
The Rs. 2000-crore airport is to come up in an area of 500 acres and is expected to be ready in two years' time.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) accorded clearance to the project in September last year.