Sabarimala airport: Kerala government to withdraw notification to acquire land

Justice Viju Abraham recorded the submission and closed the petitions leaving open all other contentions of the petitioners.
Kerala High Court.
Kerala High Court.(File photo)

KOCHI: The state government has informed the Kerala HC that it has decided to withdraw the notification issued on December 30, 2022, which granted permission to acquire land under the Cheruvally Estate for the construction and development of the proposed Sabarimala Greenfield Airport. The decision was taken during the hearing of a petition filed by Ayana Charitable Trust (formerly known as Gospel for Asia), Tiruvalla, and others challenging the notifications. The government said it would issue a new notification to avoid further litigation on this matter. The government said it has also decided to withdraw the notification granting sanction to the Centre for Management Development (CMD) to conduct a Social Impact Assessment.

Justice Viju Abraham recorded the submission and closed the petitions leaving open all other contentions of the petitioners.

Advocates P Haridas and Rishikesh Haridas, representing the Trust, argued that the notifications were issued to illegally take over the petitioners’ property. The trust acquired a rubber estate having 2,263 acres in 2005. The Taluk Land Board had held there was no land over the ceiling limit under the Land Reforms Act. It was upheld by the HC in 1993. The notification is illegal as it requires that the name of “owners/interested persons” should be shown. However, the name of the petitioner, the sole owner and interested person, is not mentioned, they said.

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