Trivandrum: The proposed Greenfield International Airport at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta District has got a boost with the Union Ministry of Environment & Forest giving the environment clearance for the project.
Briefing the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Gigi George, Managing Director of KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd. said, “All clearances required for the proposed Greenfield airport project have been obtained and we should be able to start the construction soon. The environment clearance for the 500 acres land was the last major clearance pending from the Central Government for the project. This will be the first private International airport in India. We hope to start the commercial operations in December 2015.”
Giving details, Gigi said that the environment clearance has been given with strict conditions like maintaining the status quo of a rivulet, land filling in minimum areas like runway, apron and taxiway, and denotification of unutilised area as industrial land. An integrated airport city (aeropolis) comprising of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for IT, multi-speciality hospital, shopping mall, three hotels with star ratings and an International school is also being planned with this project on an additional 200 acres. There is a 10% equity participation by the State Government and 50 acres of Government land would be purchased at market rates for the project.
“The agency for airport operations will be selected from reputed operators like Malasian Airport Holdings Berhad, Emirates, AD Paris and Changi (Singapore). The airport is expected to generate 1,500 direct employment opportunities and 6,000 indirect opportunities”, he added.
P T Nandakumar, Executive Director of KGS Aranmula International Airport, who was also present on the occasion, said that the delay in getting environment clearance and unnecessary controversies have deferred the project by over one year. This has also resulted in cost escalation of the Rs.2,000 crore investment planned in the project.
Kerala Biz News