Members of the Environment Support Group (ESG), a non-governmental organisation, and the district Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, have demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the May 22 Air India Express crash that killed 158 people.
Leo Saldanha of the ESG told presspersons here on Saturday that the present “risky” table-top runway at the Mangalore Airport was selected in late 1980s, despite the availability of an alternative “risk-free” site.
Mr. Saldanha displayed a Revenue map of the then Bajpe area, showing the two proposed airstrips. The alternative site was to the north of the present site and ran almost parallel to the present one.
“The land at the alternative site was undulating but not surrounded by deep valleys like at the present site,” he said and alleged that the site was not chosen because several large land-holders would have lost their properties.
Pointing to the present proposal to extend the runway, he said there was no room for expansion since the strip was at the top of a hill.