Jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer has called upon the government not to permit the proposal to construct a private airport at Aranmula by converting the vast expanse of paddy land (puncha) and wetland.

In a message read out at a popular convention against paddy field conversion at Aranmula on Sunday, the former judge of the Supreme Court Judge said no department of the government should give permission to set up the proposed private airport, violating the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act-2008, Environment Protection Act, and the Land Utilisation Act-1967.

Mr. Iyer said the government should take stern action against those who had illegally converted the paddy land at Aranmula. Extending whole-hearted support to the ongoing agitation launched by the Thiruvaranmula Paithruka Grama Karma Samithi to protect the paddy land and wetland at Aranmula, Mr Iyer said conversion of 500 acres of paddy land and wetland for setting up an airport at a heritage village would be suicidal.

He said paddy land and wetlands were the gifts of nature and its destruction would lead to disastrous socio-environmental implications.

Mr. Iyer said the authorities should retreat from the move to hurt the agrarian culture of Aranmula  that had been identified as a heritage village by the United Nations Development Programme as well as the Union government.

He called upon the government to withdraw the notification declaring Aranmula an industrial area.