The Centre did not want a project rejected by the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal, Kerala BJP president Kummanom Rajasekharan said.BJP in Kerala has said the Centre would not take a stand in favour of the proposed private International Airport at Aranmulla, which has run into trouble after environment groups and the locals opposed it. BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan, who was in the forefront of an agitation against the airport, said Union Environment and Forest Minister Anil Madhav Dave had informed him that the Expert Appraisal Committee recommendations to conduct a fresh environment study would be cancelled.
The Centre did not want a project rejected by the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal, Rajasekharan said in a statement, quoting Dave. The project, promoted by KGS Group, had run into trouble when it was mooted nearly seven years ago with environment groups and people in the area holding that it would cause environmental hazards.
“The EAC has become committee to protect the interests of KGS group. Giving clearance for an environment study without hearing my complaint is quite a mystery,” he added. Rajasekharan also said the environment minister had assured him that no permission would be given and there was no change in Centre’s position that there was no need for an airport in Aranmula.
“What has come out is only a recommendation for conducting an environment study,” Rajasekharan pointed out. He said the project was coming up ‘again and again’ due to permission granted by previous LDF ministry headed by V S Achuthanandan and wanted the present state government to cancel it.The EAC under the environment ministry had permitted KGS group to conduct an environment study at a meeting on July 29. The permission was to hold a fresh study on various issues, including seeking the opinion of people on the need for an airport. The National Green Tribunal had in 2014 set aside the environmental clearance given by UPA government to the project and directed KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd, the promoters, to stop construction at the site.
The tribunal passed the order on a petition filed by the Aranmula Heritage Village Protection Action Council. The project also faced stiff resistance from devotees of Sri Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, who have said that the airport would cause structural damage to the temple.