Thursday, January 30, 2014

Aranmula airport: HC refuses to interfere in NGT proceedings

Kerala High Court today made it clear that it will not interfere with the proceedings relating to the Rs 2000 crore Aranmula airport project that is pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The order was issued by a division bench comprising Justice T R Ramachandran Nair and Justice Abraham Mathew on suo motu proceedings launched by the court on the basis of Devaswom ombudsman's report on the harm that would be caused to the Sri Parthasarthy temple when the airport comes up.

The bench declined to interfere with the Tribunal's proceedings pointing that it was exercising its jurisdiction only in respect of the matters relating to the temple.

When the matter came up before the bench today, Advocate General K P Dandapani sought stay of proceedings before the Tribunal complaining that simultaneous proceedings regarding the same issue was illegal.

The judges posted the case to February 10 to consider the report of Airport Authority of India and Pollution Control Board.

The Advocate Commissioner, appointed by the court, had earlier stated the airport project may be a "perennial threat" to the temple.

It was also stated that there could be pollution issues as the airport will be in close proximity of the temple and the construction of the airport could also tamper with several ancient customary, religious rituals and practises of the temple.

Project promoters KGS Group had earlier informed the high court that the flag mast, 'Gopuram' or any other structure of the temple need not be touched, modified or displaced for the construction of the airport.

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