Pathanamthitta: The prospects for the KGS Aranmula International Airport were given a major boost today, when the Chennai Bench of the National Green Tribunal dismissed the entire petition that challenged decisions including industrial area notification for the airport project and the no-objection certificate given by the state government for the project, thereby dismissing the interim order passed earlier by the Tribunal with a cost of Rs.25,000.
The verdict means that the stay on the construction of the Aranmula airport has been lifted. The Chennai-based Green Tribunal handles cases relating to issues like environmental protection, conservation of forests and natural resources. The verdict from the Green Tribunal is expected to speed up the project, which is the biggest infrastructure project in central Kerala in several decades.
The Rs 2,000 crore KGS Aranmula International Airport project is India’s first private international airport, and is promoted by Chennai-based KGS Group which has interests in diversified fields including infrastructure, paper and engineering. The State government has a 10% equity stake in the airport project.
In a release, Gigi George, MD, KGS Aranmula International Airport said, “We always knew that the Green Tribunal’s verdict would be favourable because we have not violated any norms laid down by any authority. The dismissal of the petition by the tribunal will help the company to speed up work regarding the project, and also be a deterrent for vested interests from filing petitions against the project with ill intentions. We will now go forward with the project, with the co-operation of the people of Aranmula and Pathanamthitta district in particular, the State government, and all the stake holders”.
The airport is expected to benefit not only the large number of NRIs from central Kerala, but also be a boon for pilgrims to the Sabarimala temple. The most obvious economic advantages of the airport will be realized by the four districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Idukki districts. The tourism sector will also be a big beneficiary of the airport, given the fact that the backwaters of Alappuzha, Kumarakom and Thekkady are all within close proximity of the airport.
Kerala Biz News