Thiruvananthapuram: The ambitious seaplane project envisaged during the 2011-16 Oommen Chandy government that got aborted following serious objections from the fisherfolk community appears to have taken a new shape with the Pinarayi Vijayan government deciding to turn it into a dam plane project.
If the Chandy government thought of landing the seaplane on water bodies in lakes and rivers, the Vijayan government has proposed the same but has turned the landing of such planes inside the catchment areas of numerous dams in the state.
Chandy's project was shot down by inland fishermen who eke out a living fishing in lakes and rivers stating that their primary vocation of fishing might get affected because of frequent landing and take off by these seaplanes.
According to sources, the same project of seaplanes has taken a new shape and the proposed landing and takeoff is now proposed to take place in the catchment areas of the dams.
In Kerala, dams are the property of the Kerala State Electricity Board and the Kerala Water Authority and so far there has been keen interest shown by about half-a-dozen companies.
If this project turns out to be a success, then the biggest gainer would be the tourism industry in the state as tourists can reach several prime destinations in the state by air, cutting a lot of travel time as roads in the state are congested.