Kannur international airport likely to get approval from environment ministry

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Final decision rests with minister Jayanthi Natarajan.

Bureau Report

BANGALORE: The ministry of environment is likely to give its nod for the proposed international airport project in Kannur, Kerala, soon. A final decision on the matter now rests with Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, after a high-level panel has recommended the granting of green clearance to the airport.

The decision to recommend the environmental clearance for the airport was taken at the recent meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Building Construction, Coastal Regulation Zone, Infrastructure Development and miscellaneous projects, reported The Times of India.

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The project proponents have been asked to submit details regarding the intersection plan of the proposed second approach to the airport, the energy and water conservation measures and the details of earth cutting and filling for the project before granting final approval. The airport is planned to be built at Keezhallur and Pazhassi Pachayats in Thalassery. The airport-second in Malabar region-will have a built-up area of 50,000 square meters and it requires a total land area of 525.50 hectares, said Times.

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The panel assessed the possibility of environmental damage the project cause before recommending it for approval. The committee has also asked the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) for a detailed rehabilitation and resettlement package for about 123 families, which will lose their land to the project. For the estimated 30,421 trees that would face the axe, the committee recommended compensatory plantation in the ratio of 1:3, the report said.

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The KIAL will have to get clearance from the Central Ground Water Board for drawing groundwater. The panel also asked project proponents to obtain approval of the wildlife warden for the proposed Peacock Conservation Plan.