Notification converting 500 acres of wetland into industrial land also stayed

The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Tuesday stayed all activities related to the construction of a greenfield airport at Aranmula until further orders. The tribunal also stayed a Kerala government notification converting 500 acres of wetland into industrial land in Pathanamthitta district and barred other connected activities of KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd. It granted an interim injunction restraining the private company from proceeding with further construction on the land in question.

The tribunal stops construction work at the site and stays govt's order to convert 500 acres for industrial purpose till further orders

The National Green Tribunal has stayed the Rs 2,000-crore Aranmula private airport project in Kerala, which is being developed by Anil Ambani-backed KGS Group. The Tribunal has stopped any construction work at the site and stayed the government's order to convert 500 acres for industrial purpose till further orders.

Bank’s pre-appraisal mission says worrying increases in cost estimates need serious review

The World Bank has expressed reservation on the ‘slow progress’ in completing acquisition of the remaining land needed for the second phase of the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) that aims at world-class development of 367 km of State highways. The pre-appraisal mission led by World Bank senior transport economist Simon D. Ellis, who was in the State recently to review the project, said the “progress on land acquisition which has not progressed since the last mission and the worrying increases in cost estimates need serious review.”

Alarmed by this year’s scanty rainfall and the drying up of water reserves in several parts of the State, the office of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has forwarded a recommendation to the State government to this effect.

The scarce northeast monsoon has failed to make up for the shortfall in the southwest spell during the past two years. The southwest monsoon’s share of rainfall this year was the lowest in the last seven years.

Punyam Poonkavanom, Orumudikkettu to keep forest environs serene

The devotees, staff on duty, and every person visiting Sabarimala is bound to keep the hillock clean and protect the serene forest environs of the sacred grove, says P. Vijayan, City Police Commissioner of Thrissur, who has been posted as the Police Special Officer at Sabarimala. Mr. Vijayan, who had successfully implemented the ‘Punyam Poonkavanom’ cleaning drive, making the devotees and the staff an integral part of the daily cleaning drive at the Sannidhanam, has re-launched the project this time too, with added vigour.

Tense situation prevailing at Paipad, agitators attack migrant workers’ dwelling

A tense situation prevailed at Paipad, near Thiruvalla, on Wednesday after a violent protest by the local people against the dumping of waste collected from a colony of migrant workers on the Kothachirappara-Paipad stretch of the Paipad-Kaviyur Road on Wednesday. The protesters, including women and children, blocked the road and flayed the alleged inaction on the part of the officials concerned to address the health risk posed by the “unhygienic” living conditions of migrant workers in and around Paipad.

Amalabharathom programme at Sabarimala concludes

Over 3,200 volunteers of the Amalabharathom campaign, attached to Mata Amritanandamayi Math, took part in a two-day cleaning drive which concluded at Sabarimala here on Sunday. A host of prominent people, including former union Minister O. Rajagopal; Amrita University vice chancellor P. Venkat Rangan; and a good number of professionals from India and abroad took part in the campaign.

It was high time the Government took stern action against the illegal land conversion taking place in different parts of the district, said K.K. Royson, former District Panchayat president.

In a statement issued here on Monday, Mr Royson who is also a member of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee said illegal conversion of paddy fields and wetlands have become a common offence in and around Kozhencherry, making a mockery of the official machinery.

Central team to start district tours

The State has sought a revised drought-relief assistance of Rs. 1,884 crore from the Centre. The revised claim was presented before a Central team which arrived here on Tuesday to start field trips to assess the drought situation in various districts.

The State revised its earlier claim for Rs. 1,468 crore after taking into account the additional loss sustained by the Kerala State Electricity Board from poor rainfall.

An Union Environment Ministry panel has recommended clearance for developing a Rs.2,000-crore international private airport at Aranmula.

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Building Construction, Coastal Regulation Zone, Infrastructure Development and Miscellaneous projects has recommended the proposal for environmental clearance with conditions, officials said here on Thursday. The airport, planned to be built on about 500 acres of land at Mallappuzhassery in Aranmula, has been hit by a controversy after the Opposition Left Democratic Front and a section of local people alleged that it would have disastrous environmental consequences and cause displacement of families.