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Aranmula airport still possible

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Aranmula airport landKerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday said the proposed Rs.2,000 crore KGS Aranmula international airport project at Pathanamthitta will become a reality if it has the requisite environment clearance and is legally tenable.

Chandy was speaking in the state assembly after CPI-M legislator and politburo member M.A. Baby wanted to know what the government thinks after the environment clearance secured by the airport promoters was scrapped by the Chennai bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

It was scrapped in May.

“I wish to make it clear that the state government will not go for securing any licence or such things. If the promoters come with all the clearances and it is deemed as environmentally friendly and legally tenable, the government will wholeheartedly welcome it,” said Chandy.

The chief minister hit back at Baby when the latter asked why the state government was so interested in supporting a ‘fraudulent company’.

“Baby, it was your government (led by V.S. Achuthanandan) that gave all clearances to this company. Please don’t forget that during the 2011 assembly polls, your party candidate had mentioned in the poll manifesto that the proposed Aranmula airport is his achievement.

“Moreover in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, you were against this airport but the people of Pathanamthitta voted our party candidate to victory,” said Chandy.

The airport complex is said to be the first private international airport in the country and is proposed to come up in an area of 700 acres.

The KGS Aranmula international airport has 500 acres in its possession.

The proposed airport is located about 110 km from the state capital and 30 km from the Sabarimala temple.

After the NGT verdict, the KGS group said it would take the legal route against the verdict.

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