Sabarimala Airport: Kerala to submit new techno-economic study report to Centre soon


Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government would submit a revised techno-economic feasibility study report on the proposed Sabarimala Airport to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry next month.

The survey proceedings will be completed in two days. Based on the survey results, a revised report will be prepared by the State Government.  Drones are used currently for the survey being undertaken at the Cheruvally Estate, the proposed site of the airport project, near Erumeli in Kottayam district. The survey is done under the leadership of a consultancy firm, Louis Berger.

The revised report to be prepared will be submitted to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) by the study team. The report will then be forwarded to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry with the concurrence of the State Government.

The Civil Aviation Ministry and the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had specifically pointed out various shortcomings in the earlier feasibility report submitted by Kerala. In the new report, the State Government is set to give an explanation on the doubts raised by the Central Government.

The plans for the new airport had hit turbulence with the DDCA finding fault with its design and techno-economic feasibility report submitted by the State Government months ago.

Central nod conditional

The Central Government made it clear that the State's application for the proposed airport has not been rejected. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that the Centre would think of granting permission to the project if the mistakes in the existing proposal were rectified.

The same stand was communicated by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to the MPs at the Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting held recently.

The final decision on granting permission to the project would be taken by the Central Government after consulting the Airport Authority of India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

State govt to acquire land at any cost

The Revenue Department had issued a Gazette notification last month to acquire 2,263 acres of land in the Cheruvally Estate. The Kottayam Special Tahsildar for land acquisition has been entrusted with the acquisition work.

The trial into the case filed by the State Government laying a claim on the ownership of the estate held by the Believers' Church is now going on in the Pala Sub-Court.

The government's stand is that the pendency of the case will not affect acquisition proceedings. If the verdict goes in favour of the Church, the government's plan is to acquire the entire land of the estate by giving compensation money.

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