Sunday, August 13, 2017

Locals up in arms against third airport in Malabar

Kozhikode: Even as high-voltage campaigns are on for a third airport at Thiruvambadi in the Malabar region, the possibility for it still hangs in the balance, with the “yet-to-be noticed” objection from around 400 employees of a local plantation in the proposed project area and lack of clearance from the State government.

People of the region are of the view that pro-industrialists who battle for the project are not sensitive to the concerns of local citizens. They also argue that those who put pressure on the government to go ahead with the project are clueless about the local topography, and that they are making impractical claims, misleading officials.

“We came to know about the proposal only through the media, and no one has sought the views of the local community. It was quite puzzling that a few industrialists independently decided to back the project, ignoring the sentiments of the people of the region,” said C.T. Rajesh, an employee of Thirumbadi Plantations.

According to him, the future of around 100 estate labourers who live inside the plantation will be at stake if the business interests of certain industrialists, are promoted.

The land, now being projected as an ideal property, will never be available for easy acquisition or negotiable purchase, he claimed.
Malabar Development Council (MDC), which is at the forefront of the campaign for the project, is of the view that the airport, if realised, will address the development concerns of north Kerala. It claimed that a new airport in Kozhikode district is a vital requirement, as the international airport at Karipur faces serious development hurdles, thanks to long-pending land acquisition issues.
12/08/17 The Hindu