Sunday, March 04, 2018

Trip to Munnar? You could fly there

Kochi:The tourists flocking to the destinations in Idukki and Wayanad could soon explore the possibility of touching down the hill stations on aircraft as the state government has asked the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) to conduct pre-feasibility study for constructing airstrips there.

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) managing director M Beena told Express it "had already conducted a preliminary study at the proposed hill stations during the previous government's tenure and submitted reports. The pre-feasibility study seems to be a follow-up of that".Attempt to set up airstrip at Anakkara, Idukki and feeder airport at Panamaram, Wayanad had courted controversy after green activists and farmers opposed and forced the then government to ground the projects.

Finance Minster T M Thomas Isaac had said in his first budget the government would give due consideration to develop airstrips in Bekal, Wayanad and Idukki as part of promoting state tourism.

An Airports Authority of India (AAI) expert team, which had visited Anakkara, found the site suitable. A senior CIAL officer said the airport company, which recently formed the Kerala Waterways and Infrastructures Limited, a joint venture between the state government and the CIAL to make a 611 km-long waterway navigable in the state by 2020, is ready to take up the project. But the government should acquire and handover the required land, he said.
04/03/18 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express