The Chief Minister’s recent statement that the Government would go ahead with the proposed greenfield airport project in Aranmula was irresponsible as well as deceit of the people, alleged Kummanam Rajashekharan, patron of the Thiruvaranmula Paithruaka Grama Karma Samiti (TPGKS).
In a statement issued here on Friday, Mr Rajashekharan said the proposed greenfield airport project is a private venture and not a public sector project. It was the private company which was supposed to make such a statement and not the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, he said.
By making such an “irresponsible statement, the Chief Minister has degraded himself as an agent of a private company that had violated all laws of the land, misleading even the Union Ministry of Environment and making a mockery of the State’s administrative machinery, Mr Rajashekharan alleged.
Ironically, the Chief Minister had clarified that the Government was committed to go ahead with the development projects initiated by the previous Left Democratic Front Government. During the previous election campaign, the United Democratic Front had propped up that the policies of the LDF Government were “grossly anti-people’’ and that many a project launched by the latter would be cancelled, if it came to power, he alleged.
Mr Rajashekharan said the Aranmula MLA too was among those who have opposed the private airport project at Aranmula that required large scale conversion of paddy lands. The people of Aranmula were very well aware of the reason behind the MLA’s change of stand favouring the controversial project, disregarding its socio-environmental implications, he added.
The action council leader said the people of Aranmula would strongly oppose any move by the Chief Minister favouring the land lobby that had been allegedly involved in scam after scam by misrepresenting key facts and through corrupt practices.
Mr Rajashekharan alleged a major land scam involving bigwigs in the politico-bureaucratic fields behind the proposed private airport project at Aranmula and stories of corruption involving crores of rupees were yet to be exposed.
It was a shame on the highly literate State of Kerala to see its Chief Minister extending support to those who have acquired land by forging official documents and violating the prevailing laws of the land, he alleged.
The District Collector, V.N. Jithendran, has already directed the Revenue Divisional Officer and the Tahsildar to take steps to cancel the mutation of 232 acres of land sold by Abraham Kamannil to the airport company for violating the key provisions in the Kerala Land Reforms Act a week ago. The Chief Minister’s open support to the land-grabbers would only perplex the minds of many an upright and just official, he alleged.
Mr Rajashekharan alleged that the Chief Minister’s public statement in support of the controversial private airport project at Aranmula amounted to violation of the Constitution and denial of justice to the common people. It is noteworthy that the Land Revenue Commissioner, Vigilance Court, District Court and the High Court of Kerala have found prima facie flaws in the land deals held in connection with the airport project, he said.
He said it was an irony that the Chief Minister who had proclaimed that the Government would not permit conversion of even a small piece of paddy land a week ago is now extending active support for the wanton conversion of a vast expanse of paddy fields in Aranmula.