Kerala cabinet gives nod to green airport in Kanjirappally to facilitate travel for Sabarimala pilgrims

A green airport will come up at Kanjirappally taluk in Kottayam after the Kerala cabinet approved the project on Wednesday. According to Manoramaonline, the airport — which will facilitate travel for Sabarimala pilgrims — will be constructed on 2,263 acres of land at the Cheruvally Estate of Harrisons Plantations in Erumaley.

A report by the Deccan Chronicle said that Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) was assigned the task of carrying out a study for the airport project.

Over three-crore pilgrims visit the shrine on the famous hill annually. Pilgrims have to reach Chengannur or Thiruvalla railway stations for their journey to Sabarimala using the MC Road or National Highway 47.

Though the construction of Angamaly-Sabari rail line was under government consideration, fund scarcity and delay in getting Centre's approval kept the fate of the project hanging in balance. The proposed airport will hopefully resolve traffic problems during the peak pilgrim season.

The cabinet decided to reconstitute Kerala State Road Fund Board (KSRFB). The KSRFB was proposed as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the projects to be implemented by the public works department with the help of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.

 Kerala cabinet gives nod to green airport in Kanjirappally to facilitate travel for Sabarimala pilgrims

File image of pilgrims queuing up to Sabarimala temple. AFP

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who met civil aviation minister Anand Gajapathy Raju in New Delhi on Wednesday, announced the state government will go forward to build an airport near the famed Sabarimala temple.

"The temple is one where lakhs of pilgrims come and the need for an airport is a must. We met the civil aviation minister and he said no objection certification will be given after we identify the land. The land has already been identified near Erumely and now once I am back in the state, the decision to go forward with the airport will be taken and we will inform the Centre," Vijayan told IANS.

Erumely is located about 45 kilometres from the temple town in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. Pilgrims, who come by air have to touch down either at Kochi or the state capital and then reach the temple by road.

Situated in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 17:08:15 IST