The report submitted by Principal Secretary to the State Environment (B) Department to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on August 21, in connection with the controversial Aranmula airport project, is totally unwarranted, arbitrary, and against facts, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council has alleged.
A statement issued by the action council chief patron, Kummanam Rajashekharan, said the Environment Secretary informed the MoEF that the private airport company was eligible for exemption from the Land Reforms Act. A responsible official giving such a misleading information on matters pertaining to the Revenue Department to the Union Ministry was nothing short of non prescription and violation of rules, he said.
‘Covered up fact’
Mr Rajasehkharan alleged that the Environment Secretary consciously covered up the fact that the Land Board had declared 232 acres in the possession of the company as excess land, invoking the relevant provisions in the Land Reforms Act, and that the Kerala High Court had stayed construction work on the proposed airport project for reasons best known to him.
The official’s statement before the MoEF that the previous government had permitted conversion of land for the proposed airport project, too, was a lie.
The previous government’s order specifically stated that the company should find land of its own for setting up the airport project as per the prevailing laws of the land, he pointed out.