NDA govt cancels nod to Aranmula airport airport

The ministry’s decision has been conveyed to the Chennai-based KGS Group, which is the promoter of the Rs20 billion project.

By Tk Devasla

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Published: Fri 29 May 2015, 12:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:27 PM

Trivandrum — The fate of India’s first wholly private international airport proposed at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district of the southern Indian state of Kerala appears to have been sealed with the Federal Ministry of Civil Aviation revoking its approval for the controversial project.

The ministry’s decision has been conveyed to the Chennai-based KGS Group, which is the promoter of the Rs20 billion project. The decision comes two weeks after the Defence Ministry cancelled its nod to the airport proposed mainly to cater to the expatriates hailing from Kerala’s central districts and the pilgrims visiting the Sabarmila Hindu shrine.

The National Green Tribunal had earlier cancelled the clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the project and the Supreme Court which upheld its order. However, the ministry had recently allowed the KGS Group to conduct a fresh environment impact assessment.

The prospect for the revival of the project seems dim following the cancellation of all three crucial clearances an airport project requires to take off the ground. The project, which had received all these clearances a couple of years ago, could not take off due to strong resistance from the local people, including the Bharatiya Janata Party and its Hindu outfits. The state unit of the BJP has been mounting pressure on the federal government to stall the project ever since the party-led government came to power in New Delhi. 

Federal Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was in Kerala on Tuesday, had clarified that the Narendra Modi government had never favoured the project.

Addressing a public meeting organised by the BJP to mark the first anniversary of the government at Palghat, Javadekar said that the government would not permit any project that would be harmful to the environment.

news@khaleejtimes.com



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