KOCHI: The Director, NCC directorate, Thiruvananthapuram, has informed the Kerala High Court that the Idukki airstrip project is exclusively for imparting flying training to NCC cadets and for betterment of the youth of Kerala without any harm to forest and wildlife. It added that the project is not for commercial use. Since no air traffic control is required in the location and no infrastructure for air traffic control is needed for the airstrip, the project does not come under EIA notification requiring environmental clearance.
The NCC filed the statement in response to a petition seeking a directive not to proceed with the construction of the airstrip and operation of aircraft on 4.85 hectares of land at Manjumala, Peermade.
The petitioner alleged that the project was implemented without obtaining nod under Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act and environmental clearance.
The NCC argued that the contention of the petitioner that there was a hasty move to inaugurate the airstrip was wrong. The construction started in May 2017 after proper discussions and planning. Environmental issues were taken care of considering air pollution which may take place while operating the Virus Microlite from there.
Even now NCC is taking all precautions before it becomes functional there. The project has been executed in a completely natural and cost-effective manner. There is no retaining wall made of large heavy structures. It added that the project is to impart flying training, make aero models, conduct classes on special subjects for flying, parade, trekking, mountaineering and Vayu Sainik camps. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has given clearance for NCC Microlight Airstrip and Airspace in Idukki.
‘No environmental clearance needed’
Since no air traffic control is required in the location and no infrastructure for air traffic control is needed for the airstrip, the project does not come under EIA notification requiring environmental clearance