Activists to do organic farming at airport site

Council chairperson and renowned Malayalam poetess Sugathakumari told reporters on Sunday that the process to cultivate the land will begin during a ‘Mahayogam’ to be held at Aranmula on May 20.



By T K Devasla

Published: Tue 28 Apr 2015, 12:06 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:41 PM

Trivandrum — The People’s Joint Action Council against India’s first private international airport proposed in Kerala has decided to do organic farming in 500 acres of land acquired for the project at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district.

Council chairperson and renowned Malayalam poetess Sugathakumari told reporters on Sunday that the process to cultivate the land will begin during a ‘Mahayogam’ to be held at Aranmula on May 20.

The move is in protest against the nod given by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Forest to the Chennai-based KGS Group, promoters of the Rs.2 billion project to conduct a fresh environment impact assessment.

Sugathakumari said that the meeting had also decided to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the project. She said that the council had also decided to shift their agitation to New Delhi if the government allowed the promoters to go ahead with the project.

The state unit of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also extended support to the agitations against the airport. The Environment Ministry’s nod has virtually revived the project, which remained stalled after the National Green Tribunal cancelled the environment clearance given to the project earlier.

The nod to conduct a fresh EIA was given by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Environment Ministry at its meeting last Friday on an application filed by the promoters. The EAC rejected the arguments that the proposed site was not suitable for the airport project.

The company had claimed in its application that the Green Tribunal’s finding that the project would submerge a large extent of paddy fields was wrong, as paddy was not being consulted in the land acquired by them for the project for long. The company justified the need for an airport at Aranmula saying that a large number of people from the region surrounding proposed airport are working abroad. 


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