KOZHIKODE: Trade, industry and passenger forums have voiced against the central and state governments sidelining the 31-year-old Calicut International Airport in favour of corporate airports.
The 24-hour hunger strike of Malabar Development Forum on Tuesday provided a platform for them.
Forum chairman P.K. Basheer said the demonstration was to create awareness among people against the discrimination and also to pressure the governments to ensure justice for the region.
"The tax for aviation fuel should be standardised for all domestic services," he said.
"Providing tax cuts for services operating from Kannur is clear discrimination against the public sector airport here. Both governments are promoting private airports in Kochi and Kannur."
He alleged that the state government was extending undue support to Kannur while its attitude towards Calicut airport is hostile.
"The same attitude is evident in torpedoing the Nilambur-Nanjangud railway project for promoting Thalassery-Mananthavady-Mysore railway," he said.
"The LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan is only addressing the needs of Kannur district while neglecting the serious needs of all other districts of Malabar."
Malabar Development Council chairman C.E. Chakkunni said that even though many airlines are ready to operate Code-E aircraft from here the authorities are denying permission citing one reason or other.
"Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru services have gone to Kannur while the Kozhikode-Abu Dhabi service of Indigo airlines will be stopped from October 1," he said.
The token strike will conclude at 11 am on Wednesday, but they warned of a series of intense agitations if the governments fail to act positively....