July 19, 2017
Kottayam: In a move to find solutions to the travelling woes of Sabarimala pilgrims, the Kerala Government today decided to set up an airport near here.
A decision in this regard was taken at the cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
The airport will come up on 2,263 acres in Kanjirapally, close to Erumeli, a key spot associated with the pilgrimage.
The area is located in Cheruvally estate owned by K P Yohanan’s Believers Church which had bought it from Harrisons group.
The plan to set up an airport near Sabarimala had been under consideration by the previous Congress-led government.
It had zeroed in on an ecologically fragile area in Aranmulla in Pathanamthitta district. Around the time the government was to go ahead with implement it, environmentalists, supported by local residents, launched a campaign forcing the government to shelve the programme.
The KGS group was the agency selected to set up the airport by the last government.
An airport should make the pilgrimage comfortable and time-saving, especially for those coming from other states and also abroad. It is expected to improve the commercial value of the otherwise sleepy region.
Kottayam and Patthanamthitta districts have a lot of people residing abroad and this should prove beneficial to them.
But the flip side remains that the project can cause considerable damage to the environment as the region is close to the Periyar Tiger Reserve.