`KITCO has not suggested alterations of places of worship`
Kochi: KITCO on Saturday distanced itself from the revised pre-feasiblity report of the Aranmula International Airport, saying it had never suggested any kind of alterations of any places of worship near the project area.
The report, submitted in 2009, had covered mainly the financial feasibility aspects of the project. Detailed technical aspects of the project like master plan and obstacle survey were not included its scope of study, KITCO Managing Director Cyriac Davies told reporters here.
The airport was then conceived as a small airport that cater to small aircraft like ATR-72 with an overall project cost around Rs 100 crore in the first phase.
"In the report, we had never suggested any kind of alterations of any places of worship near the project area. The report was handed over to the client, that is KGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd in 2009," he said.
Thereafter, it was up to the KGS Company to move to various government organisations to get the approvals for the project.
Now it seems the airport company has revised and altered the report many times on their own, he said, adding that the alterations they had made and included in the report are "without our consent or knowledge."
When contacted, sources in KGS Aranmula International Airport said no alteration of any place of worship near the project area has been suggested.
KITCO, as a responsible public sector consultancy organisation since the past 40 years, would never associate itself with any move that hurt the sentiments of the people, Davies said.
The Rs 2,000-crore project, coming up in 700 acre area in Aranmulla in Pathnamthitta district, is facing stiff resistance from environmentalists and local people in the region, who argue that the construction of the airport was in violation of the provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy and Wet Land Act, 2008, the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963, the Environment Protection Act and Land Acquistion act.
They also allege that it would destroy many of the characterstics that qualify Aranmulla as a heritage village by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.
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