Kochi, Sep 1: The Kerala government on Aug 31 filed an affidavit in the high court, saying that it has decided to examine whether a government order granting in-principle sanction to Aranmula airport project could be cancelled.
In its affidavit, the government also said it has decided to take immediate steps to cancel its decision to notify approximately 500 acres of land in Aranmula as an industrial area. The state government affidavit said it was found that the proposed project area constitutes large extent of paddy and wetland, which cannot be legally converted for the purpose of a private company in view of existing legal provisions.
The project, promoted by KGS Group, had run into trouble after it was mooted nearly seven years ago with environment groups and people in the area holding that it would cause environmental hazards.
The Expert Appraisal Committee 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 the 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.