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Report on Idukki airport submitted

A Correspondent

450 hectares identified at Anakkara

KATTAPPANA: With the district administration submitting a feasibility report to the Airport Authority of India (AAI), the prospects of the proposed greenfield airport at Anakkara in Idukki district have become brighter.

Senior officials of the district administration submitted the report to AAI officials at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

The proposed airport will be a major boost to the tourism sector in the district. “It will promote the tourism sector which is on a fast phase of growth in the district,'' District Collector M.C. Mohandas told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Anakkara is just 15 km from Thekkady and 85 km from Munnar on the main route connecting the two tourism destinations. Even if 10 per cent of the tourists reaching these destinations used the airport, it would be a success, the collector said.

The State government had identified 450 hectares of land for the airport and a feasibility study by the AAI in 2009 found the area ideal for the airport.

Now the clearance of the Defence Ministry and the demarcation report of the Civil Aviation Ministry are needed. In the changed political climate, it is expected that the green signal for the project will be given soon.

A senior official who attended the meeting with AAI officials said that a report on the cost aspects of the airport project would be submitted by the State government.

Two hills, Poovinchimala and Sankurundampara, will have to be to be levelled for the project. The land identified is used for paddy cultivation. Since the area is scarcely populated, only a few families will have to be rehabilitated.

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