Kerala cabinet approves greenfield airport for Sabarimala

The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday issued an in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district.

Though there have been many attempts over the past 10 years to set up an airport to meet the demands of pilgrims visiting the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, the CPM-led government’s nod could be the first big push towards the long-debated project.

The note that details decisions taken by the Cabinet on Wednesday, however, does not mention location of the proposed airport. In November last year, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said – after a meeting with Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju in New Delhi – that land for an airstrip was identified at Erumely, one of the major idathaavalams (halting points) for Sabarimala pilgrims.

The Union minister had stated that a No Objection Certificate could be issued after land for the proposed airstrip was identified.

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