Thiruvananthapuram

Suspend land acquisition: council

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Public hearing held on acquiring land at Vayyamoola for new domestic airport terminal

The Vallakkadavu-Vayyamoola Joint Action Council has urged the State government to suspend the proceedings to acquire eight hectares from Vayyamoola for the new domestic terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport against the backdrop of the move to set up an off-city world-class airport on the outskirts of the city.

The demand was made by the council during a public hearing held on Monday at the proposed site as part of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study carried out by the Loyola College of Social Sciences, Sreekaryam.

SAI study findings

Responding to the findings of the draft report of the SIA study, A. Saifuddin Haji, chairman of the council, demanded suspension of the land acquisition proceedings so as to facilitate consideration of the off-city airport following a 30% increase in traffic flow.

“Why should the cash-strapped government acquire land by displacing the locals of Vayyamoola and hand it over to the private operator coming forward to handle the airport,” Mr. Saifuddin asked. The council sought one week’s time for giving it in writing their response to the SIA findings, plea for job to at least one member of the displaced family as offered in the Kannur airport land acquisition proceedings, clarity on the 10-time more compensation of fair value, and equal compensation for all displaced, including those who did not have title deeds and held land in the Vayyamoola area.

Mr. Saifuddin said the council was ready to assist the State government to negotiate with the landowners to rehabilitate those being displaced in the vacant land near the eight hectares being acquired.

Equal treatment

President, Vayamoola Residents Association, Ashokan demanded equal treatment for those holding the land and same compensation rate for the land being acquired. President, Devi Nagar Residents Association, Sivadasan G. Nair, demanded tax exemption to the compensation being offered.

Ravi, a former adviser to the Chief Minister, said the new R&R policy of the government to speed up land acquisition should be taken into account while finalising the report. Vice chairman of the council P. Viswanathan said the earlier compensation awarded for development of the airport over the years was meagre and that the locals would not allow this to happen at Vayamoola.

Chairperson of the Health Standing Committee and local councillor, K. Sreekumar, who presided over the meeting, said rehabilitation of the displaced should be the focus of the SIA study report and called for a deep look into how feasible was the proposal to grant jobs in airport for the displaced family members.

Sabu P. Thomas of the Loyola college said the final report would be handed over by January 20 incorporating the suggestions that came up in the public hearing.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:33:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/suspend-land-acquisition-council/article22445367.ece

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