Kerala

Rain washes away a portion of Idukki airstrip

A view of the Satram airstrip in Idukki district after a portion of the runway caved in following heavy rain.

A view of the Satram airstrip in Idukki district after a portion of the runway caved in following heavy rain.

A portion of the National Cadets Corps (NCC) airstrip at Sathram, near Kumily here, was washed away in a landslip following heavy rain in the past few days. Though the Public Works department had completed the work of the runway, aircraft could not be landed on it in the two trial runs as there was an earthen mound next to it.

In the landslip, a portion of the shoulder on the right side of the airstrip caved in for a length of 100 metres. It created a deep crack on the runway, raising concern about the future prospects of the only airstrip in the district.

The project was launched to train the cadets in landing small aircraft. Had the mound of earth been removed and a protection wall constructed, the damage could have been avoided, according to initial reports.

There was no facility for diverting the water reaching the runway. A ₹42-lakh contract had been given at for strengthening the slopes near the runway. However, the work was delayed allegedly due to the objection from the Forest department, which said that the landing of the flights would affect the wildlife inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Now, a huge amount will have to be spent to reconstruct the washed away area. The airstrip was constructed at a cost of ₹12 crore.


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Printable version | Oct 2, 2022 4:18:54 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rain-washes-away-a-portion-of-idukki-airstrip/article65653974.ece