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Panel recommends green nod to Kannur airport

Panel recommends green nod to Kannur airport

At the Centre, a high-level Environment Ministry panel has recommended granting green clearance to the proposed international airport at north KeralaÂ’s Kannur district. The decision to recommend the environmental clearance for the airport was taken at the recent meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Building Construction, Coastal Regulation Zone, Infrastructure Development and Miscellaneous projects.

The project involves construction of an international airport at Keezhallur and Pazhassi panchayats in Thalassery in a total land area of 525.50 hectares with a proposed built-up area of 50,000 sq mt. A final decision on the matter will be taken by Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, sources said. The project proponents have been asked to submit details regarding the intersection plan of the proposed second approach to the airport, the energy and water conservation measures and the details of earth cutting and filling for the project before granting final approval.

The EAC gave its green signal after assessing the possibility of environmental damage arising from the project. The panel has asked the Kannur International Airport (KIAL), chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, to provide rehabilitation and resettlement package for the reported 123 families as per the local norms.

Sources said that 30,421 trees are required to be cut to build the airport. Considering the impact, the EAC has recommended compensatory tree plantation of at least 1:3 ratio and project proponents should bear the cost for its regular maintenance, the sources said. The trees should be cut only after securing necessary permission from competent authority.

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