Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sabarimala nearby, Erumeli hopeful of an airport

Kottayam: It’s a town that comes to life for 68 days a year. Life in Erumeli, the nondescript settlement famed for its long heritage of communal harmony, remains ordinary the year round but for the two months of the Sabarimala pilgrim season, when it receives nearly three fourths of the total pilgrims thronging to the Sannidhanam.
If the State government’s new initiatives for a greenfield airport is realised it is all going to change.
So far, the local people have the Chief Minister’s statement to hang on, but many believe prospects are high.
Says P.C. George, local MLA: “I submitted the proposal to the Chief Minister during the last Assembly session. He was very positive about it.” According to him, the proximity to Sabarimala makes it a viable proposition. However, the proposed site, the controversial Cheruvally estate, make the land acquisition easy. The 2,263-acre estate is among the three which earlier belonged to Harrison Malayalam Group and later sold out. The ownership of the estate is in contention since the Believers’ Church headed by K.P. Yohannan has launched a legal battle. “Other than that, the government will not have to face popular ire during acquisition,” Mr. George said. He also said that the land is almost plain and there was no need for major levelling works.
17/11/16 The Hindu