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Protest mounting against Aranmula airport project

Special Correspondent
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Action council decries move to reduce height of temple mast

The Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council has criticised the reported move to reduce the height of the temple mast and to displace the centuries’ old Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula as part of the execution of the proposed private airport project at Aranmula.

In a statement issued here on Monday evening, Kummanam Rajashekharan, action council chief patron, said any change to the temple threshold and the holy mast would hurt the sentiments of the devotees. Mr. Rajashekharan said the government and the airport company should decide whether to do away with the temple for the sake of the airport project or to abandon the airport project for the sake of the centuries’ old Vaishnavite temple which is regarded as one among the 108 Tirupatis in the whole country. He said a democratically-elected government was bound to respect the beliefs of a community.

According to Mr. Rajashekharan, the Tantric scholars say that the natural abodes of sacred groves, paddy land (Putharikkandom), peepul tree (Puthariyal), ponds, wetlands, river Pampa, etc, are intricately linked with the heritage of the ancient Aranmula temple. He said any move to destroy this would invite a strong reaction from the people of Aranmula.

Mr. Rajashekharan alleged that the airport company had managed to obtain clearance certificate from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation on the assurance that it would remove the temple parts as well as hills and houses that posed obstructions to the proposed airport.

He said the Centre and the State should make public as to what sort of assurances the KGS company had given to them in connection with the setting up of the proposed airport project in Aranmula.

Mr. Rajashekharan has called upon the government to publish a white paper on the airport project and to alleviate public apprehensions over the same.

The villagers took out a march on Mondayunder the aegis of the action council in Aranmula, protesting against the recommendations of AAI and KITCO.

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