Says traffic to and from the island is very low

The reported move of the Lakshadweep administration to construct an airport at Androth has triggered protests with the Lakshadweep People’s Welfare Forum (LPWF) questioning the need for another airport.

The volume of traffic to and from the island’s existing airport at Agathi was low and sufficient water transport facilities were available to get to the mainland, LPWF convener E.P. Attakoya Thangal said on Monday.

Land acquisition at Androth would necessitate the displacement of nearly 200 scheduled tribe families, demolition of 130 houses, and the felling of nearly 25,000 yielding and nearly 15,000 non-bearing coconut trees. Such destruction of crops and displacement of people were not necessary, Mr. Thangal said in a statement issued here.

As many as 10 ships with modern facilities, more than 10 speedboats, and flights were available for the islanders. The move to acquire 66 hectares of land for the airport at Androth had overlooked the protests from local people. It violated the people’s right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, he said. The land to be acquired was considered a good source of fresh water, he added.

LPWF had appealed to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Lakshadweep administration to stop land acquisition and take action to protect the interests of the people of the region, he said.

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