Sabarimala Greenfield Airport: Kerala govt issues order approving land acquisition in Kottayam for project

Aerial view of proposed Sabarimala airport site. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government on Wednesday issued an order approving the acquisition of 2,570 acres of land in Kottayam for the ambitious Sabarimala Greenfield Airport, taking the project a step closer to becoming a reality. The airport is being developed on land in Erumeli South and Manimala villages.

State Revenue Minister K Rajan said on Tuesday that the decision to proceed with the land acquisition process was made based on the recommendations of an expert committee that examined the social impact study report. The minister said the choice to develop the project on the specified land was reached after considering public demand, the minimum land requirement for the project and the unavailability of other suitable land options.

The state government has received confirmation from the Union Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change that the identified land is deemed suitable for the airport, he said in a statement. Consequently, Rajan added that the government is taking steps to acquire this land for the project.

According to the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the preliminary notification under section 11(1) must be issued within one year from the date of submission of recommendations by the expert committee on the social impact assessment report. The expert committee submitted its recommendations on August 22, 2023. According to it, the preliminary notification of land acquisition can be issued in August 2024.

"For this, the land records of the landowners should be checked and confirmed. After inspecting the land records, the land survey will commence. Following that, the final notification will be issued," he said.

Rajan said all the steps for the Sabarimala airport will be completed in a speedy and timely manner. The realisation of this airport is a result of the will of the Left Democratic Front, he added.
(With PTI inputs)

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