Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram airport expansion likely to take off soon after 3-year wait

After a three-year wait, the expansion of Thiruvananthapuram international airport is becoming a reality. Acquisition of additional 34 acres of land is now under the consideration of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the government, sources said, is likely to take a decision on it soon.

The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Ltd (TIAL) had submitted the proposal to the state transport department two months ago. It was handed over later to the revenue department for land acquisition proceedings. Of the 34 acres, 18 need to be acquired at Vayyamoola for terminal expansion and 16 near Brahmos Aerospace to expand runway in order to accommodate larger and more number of flights.

“We’ve begun the preliminary work. We’re waiting for the government’s nod to go ahead,” said an official.The airport’s expansion has been put on hold for several years due to opposition from the residents of Vayyamoola.

Though the Airport Authority of India (AAI) had decided to acquire 18 acres in 2014, residents led by the Vallakadavu-Vayyamoola joint action council raised protest saying it would affect their livelihood. After three years of uncertainty, the district collector held a public meeting in October 2017 in which the residents agreed to conduct a social impact assessment in the area to identify the affected people.

As per the study, the project will displace 105 families and need to acquire land accordingly. However, the residents of Vayyamoola were offered Rs 3 lakh each to build house.Deputy Collector (land acquisition) Jacob Sanjay John said acquisition had come to a standstill three years ago as the fund from the AAI stopped due to the privatisation of the airport.

14/08/22 Krishnachand K/New Indian Express

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