THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Efforts to acquire minimum land required for the expansion of Thiruvananthapuram airport is back to square one with the district administration keeping the matter in abeyance until further directives from the government in view of the stiff resistance of local people. According to revenue department sources, the district administration has suggested a meeting at the level of the Chief Minister to sort out the protest, which even has the backing of the ruling CPM leaders. “We are awaiting further instructions from the government to proceed with the land acquisition,” a revenue department official told DC.
Meanwhile, sources said that the government may soon convene a meeting of local political leaders and leaders of a local action committee to discuss the matter. A special compensation package may also be announced. “We had conveyed our concerns to Power Minister Kadakampally Surendran last week. He also assured that he would seriously consider our genuine pleas,” said Vallakadau Vayyammoola Joint Action Council chairman Saiffudin Hajji.
The Airports Authority of India has been demanding 18.53 acre land for further expansion of the international terminal building on Chakkai side. A new domestic terminal is being planned here. A meeting convened by Chief Minister Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan earlier this year decided to expedite the land acquisition process, which has been pending for many years. However, a subsequent move by revenue authorities to carry out acquisition met with stiff resistance from local people.
“The Airport Development Society that met recently also decided to go ahead with acquisition procedures after further instructions from the government,” said the revenue department official. Local leaders of all major political parties, including ward councillors of the ruling CPM, had participated in a protest meeting held at Vallakadavu last month and expressed strong objection to further land acquisition for airport development.
While the district administration maintained that about 20 persons owning land in the 18.53 acres identified for acquisition had already expressed willingness to handover land for airport development, the action council maintained that about 100 families were staying in the land identified for acquisition. Meanwhile, revenue authorities said that several persons owning land near the 18.53 acre had also expressed willingness to hand over land for airport development....