Saturday, October 22, 2016

As protests taper off, Idukki airport project picks up steam

Idukki: The greenfield airport project at Anakkara in Idukki has gathered steam with members of several panchayats nearby extending their support to the venture, which was bogged down by protests over land.
An all-party meeting held at Thekkady on Sunday has constituted a 100-member committee for the smooth implementation of the venture. The project was mooted by the central government nine years ago and had received approvals from all concerned agencies, including the Airport Authority of India.
The Union government had then offered to bear 20% of the total construction cost. The previous UDF government had allotted Rs 5 crore in its first budget and Rs 50 lakh in the second budget for conducting a primary survey for the project. But as locals protested, the government had dropped the project. The project came to the limelight recently with the state government announcing an airstrip at Idukki in the last budget.
Members from Kumily , Vandiperiyar, Peerumade, Elappara,Upputhara, Chakkupallam, Vandanmedu, Kokkayar and Peruvanthanm panchayats attended the all-party meeting held on Sunday and extended their support for the project. Vandiperiyar, Peerumade, Uputhara and Kokkayar panchayats also expressed their willingness to provide land for the project.
22/10/16 Times of India