NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Wednesday informed centre that land has been identified for constructing an airport in Erumeli for the convenience of Sabarimala devotees to reach by air. Pinarayi informed this during his meeting with Aviation Minister Ashok Jagapathy Raju. Pinarayi later told reporters that the union minister had assured to provide things including a no objection certificate (NOC) after land is found.
The UDF government had planned to construct an airport in Aranmula. However, the project got delayed due to stiff opposition from Aranmula heritage conservation samithi and the state BJP leadership. The Left Front too had opposed the Aranmula project. Following that, this government identified land in Erumeli.
Sabarimala is visited by millions of devotees and they all want an airport there. The centre had assured to take steps if land is suggested. Land has been found for the airport and this should be informed to the centre. An airport in Aranmula is a closed chapter, he added.
The government has requested for two air strips--one each at Bekkal in Kasargod and Idukki and it should be suitable for chartered flights to land.