KOZHIKODE: The proposed airport sponsored by a private company at Aaranmula in Pattanamtitta District of Kerala is facing stiff opposition from all sections of the people of Kerala, especially the locals whom this project will effect adversely. Without getting proper permission from concerned authorities, and without the support of the people living there, KGS group, the sponsors, went ahead with their plan. The company had started its preliminary works violating the norms of the Land Reform Act, Land Limit Act, Land Act of 2008 and Water Irrigation Protection Act of 2003 and Environmental Protection Act of 1984.
It canvassed all the necessary documents through clandestine ways as it was difficult to get them done in proper and legal ways. The unscrupulous company had no hesitation in overthrowing all symbols of local heritage, which people consider valuably and proudly since thousands of years. The very idea of setting up of an unnecessary and unwanted airport by a group of Mafia gangs, people believe, have an ulterior motive to destroy the entire ancestral remainings, which include temples and rich monuments.
Destroying hundreds of acres of rich paddy fields and filling rivers and lakes are detrimental to the common man and to the environment, which is every fragile and that is why the project did not got the sanction of Ministry of Environment. There are 4 airports, in this small state and 5th one is going to be materialised at Kannur in the near future. Even the preliminary facilities are not looked after in these existing airports, constructing airports in every nook and corner is unnecessary and the KGS Group might have some ulterior motives. If they insist on an airport they could have it in other suitable areas, which do not affect the people and environment. It is also to be noted that the Green Tribunal of the Supreme Court is not in favour of this venture.
The Aaranmula heritage protection Samithy and People’s Action Council are waging an agitation, which have the support and patronage of all sections of the people of this area. Last events now took a serious turn when 72 MLAs out of 140 total MLAs of Kerala Assembly took a firm stand not to allow this anti-people attempt of some interested parties who have some ulterior motives behind the so-called “area developments”.
They had sent a memorandum to Prime Minister and Smt Sonia Gandhi requesting them not to give permission to the controversial airport, which is not in the interest of the people.
Sri K Muralidharan, Cong ress MLA and son of the late K Karuna-karan who could not sign the memorandum, strongly supported the agitation in a separate statement.
The memorandum has been signed by very important dignitaries of Kerala inclduing former judges, laureats, environmentalists, educationists etc.
There was a huge procession and well attended public meeting in Aaranmula town after which the memorandum was despathched by Smt Sugatha-kumari from the local post office.
The serious turn of the whole issue now is the participation of the state government taking 10% share in this project. The Chief Minister now boasts that he would make the airport completed and all the opposition would disappear when the planes take off from here.