Thursday, September 01, 2016

LDF keeps its poll promise on Aranmula airport

Pathanamthitta: And finally the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has fulfilled its poll promise of cancelling the notification declaring Aranmula and surrounding areas as industrial area by withdrawing the in-principle clearance granted by its own government for the controversial Aranmula airport project in 2010.

On the strength of an affidavit filed by the government before the Kerala High Court, the project has been shelved once and for all, say environmentalists.

The anti-airport stir launched by villagers under the leadership of poet B. Sugathakumari had attained national attention with various socio-environmental and political leaders extending solidarity with the people’s movement. During a visit to the proposed project site, Madhav Gadgil, ecologist, had observed that the project, if implemented, would be highly disastrous to the environment, ecology and even to the Pampa river and to the socio-economic spheres of Aranmula, identified as a heritage village by the United Nations Development Programme.
The conversion of the environmentally sensitive and biodiversity-rich Aranmula puncha in the name of an airstrip began way back in 2004 when A.K. Antony was the Chief Minister. The conversion spree continued with during the Oommen Chandy regime too. The LDF government led by V.S. Achuthanandan had given in-principle clearance for the private airport project in early 2010.
01/09/16 Radhakrishnan Kuttoor/The Hindu
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