29 April 2022 1:00 PM GMT
The Central Government on Friday objected to the airstrip being constructed in Idukki. It submitted before the Kerala High Court that the project has not secured the requisite prior permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest.A Division Bench of Justice C.S. Dias and Justice C. Jayachandran was adjudicating upon a PIL seeking a direction upn the State authorities not to proceed...
The Central Government on Friday objected to the airstrip being constructed in Idukki. It submitted before the Kerala High Court that the project has not secured the requisite prior permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest.
A Division Bench of Justice C.S. Dias and Justice C. Jayachandran was adjudicating upon a PIL seeking a direction upn the State authorities not to proceed with the construction of the airstrip and the operation of the aircrafts in 4.8565 hectares in Iddukki District without obtaining a clearance under Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act and Environmental clearance and other allied reliefs.
ASGI S. Manu submitted a statement on behalf of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests based on the instructions received from the Assistant Inspector General of Forests where it was submitted that the airstrip was a threat to the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The Centre has informed the High Court that the State government has not sought permission to construct an airstrip in the said location and that no prior approval has been sought for the project although permission from the Ministry of Forests was mandatory for the project.
It was stated that the connectivity between the wildlife areas are very crucial for movement of wildlife to ensure long term physical and genetic viability of the population and that linear infrastructure development like road, rail, canal, pipelines, rope-ways, transmission lines, etc crossing through such wildlife areas can act as threat for dispersal of wildlife.
It was also submitted that National Tiger Conservation Authority does not separately grant any permission/ clearance to any activities/ projects, it only gives its consent in granting of Wildlife Clearance by the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) to the activity as and when required by the NBWL.
The airstrip being constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD) and is intended to provide training for NCC Air Wing cadets in flying small aircraft with facilities for their accommodation.
The construction of the airstrip started on 12 acres allotted by the Revenue Department on May 21, 2017. The total cost of the airstrip was nearly ₹13 crore and it is the first airstrip in the district which does not have either air or rail connectivity.
Case Title: M.N. Jayachandran v. Union of India