Soil testing for building Sabarimala airport runway begins

Aerial view of proposed Sabarimala airport site. Photo: Manorama

Erumeli: The process for testing soil samples for constructing the runway of the proposed Sabarimala greenfield international airport at Cheruvally Estate began on Tuesday.

Authorities marked the area for collecting soil samples on Tuesday and a team of 10 labourers and machinery from Karnataka will collect the soil samples from Wednesday. Officials of Louis Berger, a private consultancy agency preparing the project report, and a team of survey officials led by deputy tehsildar (headquarters) N Jayaprakash, are camping at the site.
Soil samples will be collected from eight places spread over three kilometres. Holes will be bored at depths of 10 to 20 metres to collect the samples.
Apart from Cheruvally Estate where the proposed airport will be constructed, samples will be collected from the property of a private person outside the site. This is to study the structure of the soil.
Samples collected will be tested at a soil and survey company based in Panvel, near Mumbai. Authorities are expecting the results in 21 days. If the results are positive, further works will be expedited.


The three-kilometre runway has been planned in the east-west direction at the centre of the estate. Officials of Louis Berger said the runway need not be constructed at the area marked for collecting soil samples. The exact location of the runway will be finalised only after testing the soil.

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