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'State will support Aranmula Airport project if Centre clears'

State will support Aranmula Airport project if Centre clears

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government would extend its support to the KGS Group-promoted international airport at Aranmula, which is being opposed by environmentalists, if the project gets the clearance of the Centre, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Wednesday.

Answering questions in this connection during the briefing on the state cabinet meeting here, he reiterated the government position that it would support the project if KGS obtained the Centre's clearance.

The KGS group had recently approached Centre for environment clearance for the project in Pathanamthitta district which has been riddled with controversy as activists hold that the airport would harm biodiversity and heritage value of the area. Famous Sree Parthasarathy temple is also situated near the proposed airport site.

The project would not get central clearance just because the state government had 10 per cent stake in the project, Chandy pointed out.

On the land acquisition ordinance promulgated by the Centre, Chandy said he would comment after studying it.

However, he said the objective of the government was to acquire land for the development purpose in a transparent and fast-track method.

On the proposed LDF agitation demanding his resignation over solar scam following a judicial commission calling him as a witness in the case, Chandy said all agitations by the LDF had failed till now and 'they can do anything now'.

Chandy said LDF refused to cooperate with the judicial commission appointed by the government to probe the case. There was nothing new with the commission calling him as a witness as the Chief Minister's office also comes under the terms of reference of the Commission.

No force can defeat Congress in the state if all Congressmen stand united, Chandy said to a question.

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