3:03 pm - Monday August 24, 0522

Third Phase of Anti-Aranmula Airport Stir Begins

Aranmula,Pathanamthitta : The third phase of the agitation against Aranmula airport, under the auspices of Aranmula Anti-Airport Coordination Committee, began on Monday after hundreds of people took part in the protest march and the rights protection declaration meeting at Aranmula Tharayil Junction.

Presiding over the meeting as part of the rights protection declaration, noted sculptor Kanayi Kunjiraman said that the government was acting like Judas by betraying the people of the state. “The vested interests in the government were betraying the people by selling the precious rivers, ponds, streams, grooves and heritage,” he said.

Kanayi exhorted the people to protect their heritage and culture even if it comes at the cost of their lives. The noted sculptor said that after coming to power, the rulers were acting like dictators by taking away the right to live in their houses, denying them drinking water and public roads.

Inaugurating the meeting, former Forest Minister and CPI leader Binoy Viswom said that the government was taking away the rights enshrined in the Constitution.  “The Chief Minister and the elected representatives, on the other hand, are violating the oath of office by selling public property to a company that violated the law of the land. By giving undue favours in violation of the law, the government has declared a war against the people,” Binoy Viswom said. The people of Aranmula will not allow anyone to convert the paddy field, streams and wetland for other purposes, he said.

Delivering the welcome address, Kummanam Rajasekharan, the patron of the anti-airport coordination committee, said that  “the roads, ponds and streams are  public property. We will not allow anyone to sell these.”
“We strongly oppose the government move to hand over 52 acres of puramboke land, which holds wetlands, ponds and streams, to the KGS Group at a throwaway price.”
“The plan is to convert this land as government’s share in the project.”. The third phase of the agitation would also put pressure on the state to redistribute among the landless the 232 acres declared as excess in the area, he added.

The coordination committee convened a public meeting at the project site on Monday. CPI leader Binoy Viswam and sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman attended it. “We will oppose anyone who attempts to survey or demarcate the lands,” Mr Rajasekharan said during the public meeting.
The High Court had earlier ordered that the sand used to reclaim a pond within the project area had to be removed. “The government is yet to implement the order. The state government’s inaction amounted to contempt of court,” Mr Rajasekharan said.

Former MLA and CPM district secretariat member A Padmakumar delivered the keynote address. BJP regional president Pratapachandra Varma, KPCC executive committee member and former MLA Malethu Saraladevi, BJP district president T R Ajithkumar, CPI district secretary P Prasad, Peelipose Thomas, KPCC executive committee member K K Royson and anti-airport coordination committee convener Induchoodan also spoke on the occasion.

Inputs from : Indian Express , Deccan chronicle

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