Notwithstanding the clearance of the Ministry of Environment and Forests(MoEF) for the proposed Aranmula airport, the lack of consensus among the political parties and the public uprising may derail its implementation.
The massive agitations held against the project in the last nine months, spearheaded by various political parties and apolitical groups, and the plan to intensify the stir in the coming days cannot be taken in isolation.
The discord within the UDF and the emergence of the ‘Green House’ in Congress are points of concern in the implementation of the project.
Limiting the land for the project to 500 acres by the UDF Government from the 2,500 acres earmarked by the previous LDF Government would be a pointer that is likely to cast a shadow on the future decisions of the UDF Government. As per the land records, Mount Zion Group entered into an agreement with KGS Group, the promoters of the project, selling only 438 acres of land spread over Mallappuzhassery, Aranmula and Kidangannur village office limits.
Going by the massive protests being held by the local people and the small size of the land holdings, acquisition of more land for the project would be a difficult task. Before the implementation of the project, an environment impact assessment study, including public hearing, is mandatory for a project which requires more than 100 acres of land.
For the Aranmula airport project, the impact assessment study is essential as three-fourth of the project area has converted paddy lands.
K Sivadasan Nair MLA said that the clearance would speed up the implementation of the airport project. The project would go a long way in the overall development of Central Travancore region, Sivadasan said.