Govt orders land acquisition for Sabarimala airport

Aerial view of proposed Sabarimala airport site. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Saturday issued the order for the acquisition of land for the proposed Sabarimala airport to be constructed at Cheruvally Estate, near Erumely.

This new order is a revision of the one that the State issued in November 2021. According to it, 1,039.876 hectares (2,570 acres) of land will be acquired in Erumely South and Manimala villages in Kanjirappally taluk of Kottayam district. In addition, 370 acres outside the Cheruvally Estate will be acquired.

The order is subject to two conditions. One, the social impact assessment conducted under the ambit of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, is examined by an expert committee.

Two, a formal nod from the Director General of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India suggesting that the identified site is fit for construction.

The soil testing of the region was done in September to positive results.

According to V Thulasidas, who was reappointed as the special officer of the project, Sabarimala airport can be completed in three years if all falls into place.

The airport, when complete, will greatly benefit the natives of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Idukki. It will be just 40 km from Kottayam town.

Also, the residents of certain districts in Tamil Nadu too can quickly reach the airport.

With its proximity to pilgrim centres Sabarimala, Erumeli and Maramon and other destinations frequented by domestic and international travellers, the project is also expected to boost tourism in the region.

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