Kerala

Call to withdraw terms of reference for EIA

Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council chief patron Kummanam Rajashekharan inaugurating an environment protection meet held at Aranmula on Sunday evening.— Photo: Leju Kamal  

The Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council has called upon the Union government to withdraw the terms of reference granted by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) to KGS Aranmula International Airport Limited for conducting a fresh environmental impact assessment (EIA) at Aranmula.

Inaugurating an environment protection meet at Aranmula on Sunday evening, action council chief patron Kummanam Rajashekharan has said that environment conservation was what needed at Aranmula.

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Civil Aviation Department, and the Defence Ministry had opposed the idea of an airport at Aranmula and had cancelled permission granted during the previous National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.

Mr. Rajashekharan alleged that the EAC, comprising officials appointed by the previous NDA government, had granted the terms of reference in order to protect the interests of certain Congress leaders and the airport company.

Ironically, the EAC seldom cared the crucial findings of the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court that the setting up of an airport, converting the fragile wetland and paddy land at Aranmula, would be disastrous to the environment and the ecosystem, he alleged.

Intervention sought

Mr. Rajashekharan called upon Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar to immediately intervene in the issue and withdraw the terms of reference.

Mr. Rajashekharn alleged that as many as 13 key laws of the land had been violated in the name of the airport.

Many Revenue officials, including District Collectors and Deputy Collectors, who had acted against the violation of laws at Aranmula were transferred by the government to protect the real culprits, he alleged.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:32:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/call-to-withdraw-terms-of-reference-for-eia/article7445942.ece

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