The KGS Aranmula International Airport Company will have to answer certain pertinent questions raised by the Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council over the controversial airport project in Aranmula. The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) attached to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has denied the request for terms of reference for conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project, asking the company to give point-wise clarification on objections raised by the action council.
In a memorandum submitted to EAC chairman Anil Razdan, action council chief patron Kummanam Rajashekharan said that it was the third time the company approaching the MoEF seeking environmental clearance for the airport project, which is not a “new project” as claimed by the company.
The memorandum said the National Green Tribunal had made it clear that the project would adversely affect the ecosystem and social life of people.
The tribunal had also observed that the project site was a paddy field and a wetland.”
The memorandum said: “The information provided by the company in Form-1 regarding the nature of the land was incorrect. The site identified for the project comprised paddy fields, poromboke land, natural streams, and a rivulet.
The paddy fields otherwise act as the riparian flood plain of the Pampa during the monsoon season.”
Many of the survey numbers mentioned in the supporting documents presented by the company were incorrect and a proper verification would reveal its false claims, the memorandum said.
The action council had stated that “as many as 73 MLAs of the 140-member Kerala Legislative Assembly and prominent citizens of Kerala were the signatories of a memorandum (dated July 13, 2013) submitted to the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, expressing strong protest against the move to establish an airport in the wetland and paddy lands in the heritage village of Aranmula.”
The report of the 13th Kerala Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment too raised serious questions on the conversion of wetland
and paddy land and its ecological consequences.
The memorandum also sought a detailed inquiry into various violations of law taken place in the name of the airport project.
As per the minutes of the EAC meeting held on April 23 and 24, the company will have to submit a convincing statement of facts regarding all these issues raised by the action council before the EAC even for considering its request for terms of reference for conducting an EIA.
MoEF wants statement of facts before considering airport company’s request for terms of reference for EIA