To collect details of proposed private airport project

Advocate commission appointed by the Kerala High Court S. Subhash Chand visited Aranmula on Friday to collect details of the proposed private airport project there, which has invited opposition from the public as well as environmentalists.

The High Court had appointed the Advocate Commission on the basis of a report submitted by Devaswom Ombudsman R.Bhaskaran that the height of the temple mast could not be reduced to facilitate construction of the airport as the flag mast was installed as per Tantric rules.

There were reports that KITCO, which prepared the pre-feasibility report for KGS Aranmula Airport Limited, had suggested reducing the height of the temple mast.

KITCO Joint General Manager Dominic Chacko had informed the Ombudsman that it had never made any such suggestion in the project report. Mr. Chacko alleged that page 34 of the report prepared by KITCO was altered without its consent or knowledge.

Mr. Chand visited the Aranmula temple and the Aranmula Puncha (paddy land and wetland) that had been identified as the site for the proposed international airport.

As many as 36 persons representing the Sree Parthasarathy Temple Advisory Committee, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council, Pallimukkatu Devi Temple, Ponnumthottom Devi Temple, Kannangotu Madhom, Aringottukavu, Moorthitta Maha Ganapathi Temple, People’s Action Council, representatives of hill protection committees, temple Tantri, master temple architect etc. submitted their statements before the commission.

All of them reportedly expressed their opposition to the airport project.

The Tantri said he would inform the commission on the height of the temple mast at the earliest.

Cancel nod: DYFI

Meanwhile, the State secretariat of the DYFI has called upon the Union government to cancel the clearance given to the airport in the light of disclosures that the State government had suppressed information regarding reclamation of paddy land for the project when referring it for MoEF clearance.

In a statement here on Friday, the DYFI secretariat said the disclosures clearly pointed to corruption involving crores of rupees and foul play by the Chief Minister and the Industries Minister to favour the promoters of the airport project.

The State government should order a comprehensive inquiry into the misrepresentation of facts and both the Central and State governments should immediately withdraw all support for the project, the DYFI leadership said.

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