Land report on Space Inst to be submitted to Govt soon: ISRO

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 16 (UNI) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair today said a report on the land for setting up the Space Science Institute would be submitted to the Kerala Government soon.

He was talking to reporters after visiting Thenur and Upper Sanatorium in Ponmudi, the lands that were promised by the LDF Government after the deal between ISRO and Merchiston Estate ran into trouble as the Government held that the land was vested with it under the Ecologically Fragile Land (EFL) Act.

Stating that there was no move to shift the institute to another state, Mr Nair said the ISRO expertise team would study the area and also carry out a Remote Sensing Survey of the area that the Government had now identified. The survey would take about a week to complete and within two weeks the report would be submitted, he said.

Regarding the Upper Sanotorium, Mr Nair said the land was not enough for establishing the institute.

The Kerala Government had identified 129.78 acre of land at Thenur village in Ponmudi, Ivercode estate, covering an area of 74.83 acre and the Upper Sanatorium with 30.46 acre as the three alternative sites for setting up the institute. The ISRO team that had visited the places had already informed the Government that the Ivercode estate and Upper Sanotorium were not fit for establishing the institute.

The Government had told the ISRO that the three sites were neither forest land nor would they come under the Ecologically Fragile Land category. It had offered up to 200 acre to ISRO in lieu of the 80 acre of land it had obtained from Southern Field Ventures in the Merchiston estate.

Chief Minister V S Achutanandan had also said the ISRO should not insist on the land in the Merchiston estate, near Ponmudi, as it was vested with the Government under the Ecologically Fragile Land (EFL) Act.

The entire controversy over the land for the Space Institute began after the ISRO entered into a deal early this year with Merchiston estate for the transfer of about 120 acre of land.


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