Decision only after examining legal aspects

The State government is ready to hand over all cases of corruption in Malabar Cements to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said.

However, a decision on transferring the cases to the CBI will be taken only after examining the legal aspects, since the High Court is considering a petition on the issue, he said in reply to a submission by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan in the Assembly on Thursday.

Moving the submission, Mr. Achuthanandan said the Government Prosecutor had dismissed the demand for a CBI investigation when the High Court sought the opinion on a petition filed by the father of V. Saseendran, company secretary, MCL, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances. He said this represented a reversal of the government’s assurance to the House.

Mr. Achuthanandan said CBI officials had seized the Vigilance report on corruption in the MCL from the house of the industrialist V.M. Radhakrishnan, who was arrested on Tuesday on the charge of being involved in the death of Saseendran.

The CBI, he said, has received evidence that Saseendran was driven to death for standing up against corruption.

Airport project

Minister for Airports K. Babu said the construction of the Kannur international airport was expected to start in a few months.

He told A.P. Abdullakutty that the environment clearance for the airport project was in the final stage of approval.

Kannur International Airport Ltd. (KIAL) had shortlisted seven companies for doing engineering, procurement and construction works in the airside areas, and talks were on with banks to tie up financial assistance for land acquisition.

Mr. Babu said the KIAL Director Board had approved a revised master plan for the project prepared in consultation with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Airports Authority of India, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the India Meteorological Department.

The project, he said, is on track and a monitoring system put in place to keep a tab on its progress.

Moving a submission on the issue, Mr. Abdullakutty, Kannur MLA, said the tardy progress of work on the much-awaited airport project had led to concern among the public.

He said the inadequate allocation of funds for land acquisition, the failure to reach a consensus on a greenfield road and taking up a satellite survey of the area had bogged down the project.

Tourism Minister A.P. Anilkumar assured the House that the government would do everything possible to make the Alappuzha tourism circuit project a reality.

Replying to a submission moved by A.M. Arif, he said efforts were on to convene a meeting to discuss the transfer of land required to create infrastructure for the project that had been approved in principle by the Union government.

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