: Various socio-cultural organisations and non-residents’ forums have joined hands to take up the cause of passengers at the Calicut International Airport, which has been closed down partially for repair and recarpeting works from June this year.
As a first step towards intensifying the agitation, a joint action committee led by the Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Malabar Development Forum (MDF), will stage a satyagraha at Mananchira Square here at 11 a.m. on September 8.
The indefinite satyagraha is being organised after ensuring the complete support of different non-residents’ forums from the State, said P. Gangadharan, chairman of the committee.
Alleging a conspiracy by vested interest groups with the connivance of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) authorities to destroy the Calicut Airport and thereby benefit private sector airports, including the soon-to-be-opened Kannur airport, the action committee members raised serious suspicions over why the recarpeting work, which was announced to begin a month ago, had not started yet. “Some invisible forces seem to be working behind the screen to indefinitely delay the work and destroy the airport eventually,” said Mr. Gangadharan.
Besides being the only embarkation point for the entire Haj pilgrims from the State, a large number of expatriates from the Malabar region board their flight at the Calicut International Airport for the last few decades. However, the partial closedown of the airport for the recarpeting works has seriously affected the expatriate community and their travel plans as the service of the wide-bodied aircraft, including Airbus 330, 747, and B777, have been stopped for the work.
According to MDF working chairman K.M. Basheer, though various airline companies, including Emirates and Saudi Airline, had showed their willingness to carry out service of small and mid-size aircraft from the airport, the airport authorities did not respond to that proposal. “We have serious suspicions about the airport director’s sincerity in the entire matter,” said Mr. Basheer. He maintained that any move to destroy the airport would be considered thankless by the people from the region, especially the expatriate community whose remittance had always been the backbone of the State’s economy.
Muslim League MP P.V. Abdul Wahab will inaugurate the satyagraha. Leaders of various political parties will attend the programme, said the committee members.
The joint action committee will stage a satyagraha at Mananchira Square on September 8.