In response to a petition filed by the Aranmula Heritage Village Protection Action Council, the National Green Tribunal has stayed the Rs 2,000-crore Aranmula private airport project in Kerala.
The council argues that the construction of a private airport was in violation of the provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy and Wet Land Act, 2008, Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963, Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Land Acquisition Act.
The petitioner argues that the no-objection certificates and permissions were obtained by misrepresentation of facts. Unauthorised and illegal filling of paddy and wet land is made and by misleading the government and authorities the clearance was obtained.
The airport project, which is being developed by Anil Ambani-backed KGS Group, is expected to take off in 2014. The airport is being set up in 700 acre in Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district, the pilgrimage capital of Kerala situated between Thiruvanathapuram and business city of Kochi.
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has a 15 per cent stake in the Chennai-based KGS Group. The airport will be privately owned and managed and it is designed to handle 1,000 passengers at a time.
The Tribunal has stopped any construction work at the site and stayed the government’s order to convert 500 acre for industrial purpose till further orders.