Friday, January 10, 2014

AG Blames Industrial Department

At a time when V S Achuthanandan is being blamed for giving clearance to the controversial Aranmula airport project during the LDF Government’s tenure as the Chief Minister, the Accountant-General has put the blame on the Industries Deportment, which was then headed by Elamaram Kareem.

The Accountant-General, in its latest report, has found that the Industries Department had crossed the boundaries of its jurisdiction and issued ‘in -principle’ sanction to the project without conducting necessary studies on environmental/ecological impact and without consulting the allied departments.

In the audit report, which is in the possession of Express, the AG said that the Industries Department had trespassed into the jurisdiction of the Transport Department.

“The Transport Department of the state is the nodal department for the project of Greenfield Airport. Hence, application for the No Objection Certificate and approval for the proposed project should have been submitted to the Transport Department,” the AG said in the report that has been issued to the various departments, calling for their reports.

The AG said that the KGS Company requested for NOC in April 2010 for the construction of the Greenfield Airport at Aranmula to Additional Chief Secretary (Industries).

Based on the request, the Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) issued the government order (September 2010) giving in-principle approval for the airport.

Moreover, the Industries Department had overlooked the Committee on Environment’s opinion that it was not appreciable to commence projects without conducting geographical/environmental studies and its suggestion that in-principle sanction should be given only after consulting other departments, the AG noted.

It further said that the Industries Department had not consulted the Revenue Department and had not verified the requirement of the land for the project, which has led to the notification of 442.72 hectares

(ha) of land in Mallappuzhassery, Aranmula and Kidanganoor villages as industrial area.

“The Industries Department declared 200 ha of land as specified in the schedule at Aranmula, Mallappuzhassery and Kidanganoor villages to be an industrial area and constituted a Single Window Clearance Board for the said area for the speedy issue of various licences, clearances and certificates required.

While appending the schedule, the list of lands with survey numbers as suggested by KGS was not verified with reference to the requirement of the applicant and boundaries of the land.

This resulted in the inclusion of 442.72 ha of land in schedule in place of 200 ha required for the project,” the AG said.

Noting that the government favoured the project at all stages without studying the impact on the existing airports, the AG said that the Steering Committee’s view was that there was no urgent requirement for a Green Field airport at Aranmula since there were four international airports.

“Without considering the view of the Steering Committee, the Civil Aviation Department issued (September 2012) the site clearance and in-principle approval for the project,’’ it said.

No comments:

Post a Comment