Airport project: BJP to file review petition before Expert Appraisal Committee

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016,16:09 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | BJP in Kerala said it would file a review petition before the Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), seeking quashing of its decision to grant Terms of Reference to the project proponent to conduct yet another Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Aranmula airport.

State BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan claimed the project proponent KGS group, which was trying to push the airport project, was not eligible to conduct further studies and alleged that the group had “violated” all laws, including the Kerala Land Reform Act and Environment Protection laws.

“If they are planning to go ahead with the project, we will resist it with all our strength. We will file a review petition before the EAC, requesting them to quash its decision to grant ToR for conducting yet another EIA for the airport.

The review petition will be filed in two days,” he told reporters here.

He claimed that Union Environment and Forest Minister Anil Madhav Dave had assured him that the EAC recommendations to conduct a fresh environment study would be cancelled.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the Minister against the project. No sanction has been given by the Aranmula panchayat for the project,” he said.

Stepping up its campaign against the proposed airport, BJP’s state unit today released a letter written by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Rajasekharan in May this year informing him that the Defence Ministry has not given the green signal to the proposed airport in Aranmula.

“I would like to inform you that I have directed the Secretary, Defence, to examine your objections, pending the same the ‘in principle no objection’ is being kept in abeyance and concerned departments informed accordingly,” Parrikar had said in his letter.

The project, promoted by KGS Group, had run into trouble when it was mooted nearly seven years ago with environment groups and people in the area claiming that it would cause environmental hazards.

The EAC under the environment ministry had permitted the 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 project has faced stiff resistance from devotees of Sri Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, who have said the airport would cause structural damage to the ancient temple.