(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) THE PROPOSED fifth international airport project in Kerala suffered another setback with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India terming it illegal.
The CAG report tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday said the project at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district was accorded various clearances in violation of several laws and on the basis of false reports. The report blamed the successive governments for promoting the illegalities. The constitutional body has recommended an independent probe into the lapses at various levels. The report has listed one by one all the lapses since the project was given in principle clearance by the then Left Democratic Front government in 2004.
The report pointed out that the Chennai-based KGS Group which is promoting the country’s private Greenfield airport project had acquired land and reclaimed paddy fields for the airport in violation of the Kerala Land Reforms Act and the provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy and Wet Land Act. The agency also accused the firm of securing environment clearance by furnishing false facts. The CAG has also come down heavily on the government for allowing the illegalities. The agency said that the present Congress-led United Democratic Front government had approved the violations by deciding to participate in the project.
The report said that the project was approved without economic viability of a fifth airport in the state. The project had hit a roadblock with the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directing KGS International Airport Ltd quashing in May this year the environment clearance accorded to the project.
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