Alleges move to sabotage decision at all-party meeting

Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty's statement in the Assembly on Thursday that the government would not withdraw the notification declaring 500 acres of land in Aranmula as industrial area was deplorable and against the interests of the local people, Communist Party of India district secretary P. Prasad has said.

In a statement here on Friday, the CPI leader said the Minister's statement clarifying the government's decision on the airport project at Aranmula came in reply to a submission made by Aranmula MLA K. Sivadasan Nair.

Mr. Prasad alleged that the Minister's statement disregarding the popular demand to withdraw the notification in toto was nothing short of a declaration of war on the people of Aranmula.

He demanded that the government should cancel the notification, reportedly issued favouring a private company that owned not even a single cent of land in Aranmula, made in February last year.

He said an all-party meet convened by the District Collector in Pathanamthitta two months ago had decided to recommend to the government to withdraw the notification in toto. There was every reason to suspect a dubious move to sabotage the decision taken at the all-party meet was behind the MLA's submission and the Minister's reply, he alleged.

The CPI leader said the scientific community had categorically stated that conversion of wetlands and paddy fields for the proposed airport would invite hazardous environmental implications and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.

He alleged that the undemocratic statement' made by the Minister was not only anti-people but also a clear expression of the government's patronage to the land mafia.

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