New Delhi: The Central Government sought a fresh techno-economic feasibility report from the Kerala government regarding the proposed Sabarimala airport at Cheruvally in Kottayam. This was revealed by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh while replying to a question raised by Adoor Prakash, MP.
The new feasibility study report was sought as per the advice of the Airport Authority of India and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). There were many shortcomings in the techno-economic feasibility study conducted earlier by the KSIDC in association with a US-based consultancy firm. He also informed that the decision has already been conveyed to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
The proposed project site of the airport is the vast Cheruvally Estate, located in Kanjirappally taluk of Kottayam. The site is on the way to the Sabarimala temple, which is located in the forests of the Western Ghats in the neighbouring Pathanamthitta. After assesing the report, the DGCA had made it clear that the land at Cheruvally Estate was not suitable for constructing an airport. The DGCA had also commented that the feasibility report submitted by the officials without even affixing their signatures did not have any credibility. Singh also informed that the Centre had told the State government that there was no plan to convert the airstrip in Kasaragod into an airport.