THIRUVANANTHPURAM: The Aranmula airport, envisaged as an ambitious initiative under private promoters, had bagged the preliminary in-principle sanction from the LDF Government without even acquiring a cent of land. Documents have surfaced to show that the Chennai-based KGS company, the promoters, had not fulfilled the conditions while sourcing the go-ahead for the project.
The Cabinet had given the nod for the greenfield airport on September 2, 2010, on the condition that the company should find the land on its own. But an order issued just six days later by T Balakrishnan, then Additional Chief Secretary, said that the company owns 350 acres of land in the area, when it was nil in real terms.
Also, four days before the declaration of the Assembly elections in March this year, the Industries Department had issued a notification in haste for declaring 500 acres of land coming under Aranmula, Mallapuzhassery and Kidangannoor villages as an industrial area and also formed the ‘greenfield airport Aranmula single window clearance board’.
Records dated November 28, 2011, issued from the Aranmula village office say that there is “no land in the name and address of KGS Airport as per the records of this office’’. Moreover, the authorities are yet to take a favourable decision on KGS Aranmula Airport Company’s request to the Pathanamathitta District Collector on November 1, 2011, for the mutation of 299.9 acres of land spread in four villages of Kozhenchery taluk.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had granted ‘site clearance’ for setting up a greenfield airport on October 28, 2011 though it was stated otherwise in the Rajya Sabha just before that. On November 12, 2010, V S Achuthanandan, then Chief Minister, had directed the District Collector to take immediate steps for making the land transferable for building purposes, as per records available with Express.
The District Collector has convened an all-party meet on Friday as public opposition is mounting amid reports that the project is bound to displace around 1,000 families.