Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has asked the government not to go ahead with the proposal to set up an airstrip at Cheekkalloor, near Panamaram, in Wayanad by destroying hundreds of acres of fertile land.

Expressing solidarity with the ongoing protests by the people of Cheekkalloor, Eranelloor, and Mechery villages against the airstrip on Sunday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the project was aimed at protecting the interests of the elite. It would adversely affect the lives of hundreds of farmers in the area. The issue would be brought to the notice of the Union and the State governments, he said.

He said there was no need to construct an airstrip in the district.

There was already an airport at Karipur and the construction of an airport in Kannur had begun. Moreover, an airport at Nangangud, near Mysore, in Karnataka was facing closure owing to losses, he said. Mr. Achuthanandan, along with C.K. Saseendran, secretary, CPI(M) district unit, and leaders of the Cheekkalloor, Eranelloor and Mechery Krishi Bhoomi Samiti, visited the site proposed for the airstrip. E.N. Gopalakrishnan, president of the Samiti, spoke about the people’s concerns.

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