Aranmula greenfield Airport (AGA) project, India

Description
Aranmula is a village situated in the Pathanamthitta district of kerala. The village is known for its ancient Krishna temple and handicrafts and quite close to famous ‘Sabarimala Temple’. Government has recently announced for an airport, named Aranmula greenfield Airport (AGA). The project, costs about Rs 2,000 crore and will be built by Chennai-based KGS Aranmula international Airport Ltd[1].
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Basic Data
NameAranmula greenfield Airport (AGA) project, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceKerala
SiteAranmula
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Ports and airport projects
Specific Commodities
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
The airport is being built at a cost of Rs.2,000 crore, about 110 km from the state capital on 500 acres of land.
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Project Area (in hectares)283.28
Level of Investment (in USD)323,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesKGS group from India
Aranmula Aviation Ltd from India
Relevant government actorsUnion Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Kerala Government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAranmula Paithruka Grama Karma Samithi, Communist Party of India (Marxists), People’s Action Council
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Sugathakumari, poet, who hails from Aranmula, joined the agitation and various socio-political and religious leaders aligned with her to launch a mass movement under the banner of the Joint Action Council. V.M. Sudheeran, T.N. Prathapan, V.T. Balaram, Peelipose Thomas and K.K. Royson, Congress leaders, backed the public agitation. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, Ms. Patkar, and V.R. Krishna Iyer, eminent jurist, backed Sugathakumari’s crusade. The Ecological Concerns Department of the Church of South India launched a campaign of its own against the project. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church and Swami Golokananda of Sri Ramakrishna Ashram were among those who opposed the project, which require reclamation of paddy fields and razing of hills. Pinarayi Vijayan, V.S. Achuthanandan, Panniyan Raveendran, Mullakkara Ratnakaran, N.K. Premachandran and Benoy Viswom, Left Democratic Front leaders, and V. Muralidharan, BJP State president, addressed various public meetings in protest against the airport project at Aranmula during the past one year.
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of Alternatives0
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.State government decided to go ahead with the project despite opposition from various groups.

People of the region are against the airport project as it will destroy the environment and the Pampa, the lifeline of the Central Travancore region.

Sources and Materials
Legislations

Acquisition/bill167_20080311167_Legislative_Brief__Land_Acquisition_Bill.pdf
[click to view]

THE LAND ACQUISITION ACT, 1894
[click to view]

The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007

Links

[1] Green Lights But No Green Norms For Aranmula
[click to view]

[2] We will build Aranmula airport, says Kerala CM
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[3] LDF walkout over Aranmula airport issue
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[4] Protest mounting against Aranmula airport project
[click to view]

SAVE ARANMULA
[click to view]

Protests mount against Aranmula airport plan
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HC stays construction work at Aranmula airport
[click to view]

Village Action Council vows to disrupt Aranmula airport work
[click to view]

Kerala: Govt to go ahead with Aranmula airport
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Protest continue against Keralas fifth airport
[click to view]

Congress MLA manhandled by RSS workers
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No To Aranmula International Airport
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An appeal to support the protest against Aranmula Airport project
[click to view]

Media Links

Aranmula cpim protesters [Reporter HD] (In Malayalam)
[click to view]

Facts About Aranmula International Airport by Aam Aadmi Party (In Malayalam)
[click to view]

Aranmula airport controversy - Big Story [Reporter HD](In Malayalam)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014
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