No airport in Waynad if locals not interested: Minister - The New Indian Express

No airport in Waynad if locals not interested: Minister

Published: 17th September 2013 10:17 AM

Last Updated: 17th September 2013 10:17 AM

The Kerala government will proceed with the proposed airport in hilly Wayand district only after taking the locals into confidence and will not implement the project if they are not interested in it, Excise and Ports Minister K Babu has said.

"The project will be taken up only after taking into confidence the people of the district and clearing all their fears. If the people are not interested, the project will not be implemented," he said in a statement.

The minister said a meeting would be held with the locals on October 11 in the presence of P K Jayalakshmi, Minister for Scheduled Tribes who also hails from Waynad.

Babu, also in charge of airports, said a detailed project report could be prepared only after getting the techno-economic feasibility report and environment clearance.

If clearance is given, land would be acquired and compensation paid as per prevailing market rates. Those who have to move out would be rehabilitated, Babu said.

The airport is proposed to be built at Panamaram panchayat, for which about 400 acres of land is required. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation is the nodal agency for the project.

Wayanad is set high on the Western Ghats, at an altitude ranging from 700 to 2,100 metres.

If the Wayanad airport proposal is cleared, it will be the sixth one in Kerala.

There are three international airports in Kerala, at Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Work on the Kannur airport is expected to begin shortly.

The first greenfield private airport coming up Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district is awaiting necessary clearance.

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