Green flag for new airport at Sabarimala; PM Modi says ‘great news for tourism’
The Kottayam Greenfield Airport project will be developed on a 2,250-acre land with an investment of approximately Rs. 4,000 crores.
The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) on Monday granted site clearance for the new ‘Greenfield Airport’ project in Kerala's Kottayam district which falls close to Sabarimala temple in the Pathanamthitta district. This announcement is expected to be beneficial for thousands of devotees who travel to the state to visit the revered shrine of Lord Ayyappa.
The project received clearance after multiple rounds of discussions between the ministry and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the project proponent. The Ministry has stated that this airport will improve connectivity and contribute to the overall development of the region.
The Kottayam Greenfield Airport project will be developed on a 2,250-acre land, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with an investment of approximately Rs. 4,000 crores.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the civil aviation ministry's announcement about the new airport at Sabarimala, hailing it as "great news" for tourism, particularly for those on a spiritual journey.
“Great news for tourism and especially spiritual tourism,” Modi wrote.
In an earlier tweet, PM Modi spoke about his own Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, where Kashi Vishwanath shrine is located and encouraged visitors to explore the ancient temple city. He described Kashi as “mesmerising” and said there will be more than 10 reasons to visit the holy site.
Last week, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the groundwork for a new airport at Sabarimala has commenced after securing all the required permissions, news agency PTI reported.
He made the announcement during the inauguration of a significant road project in Pathanamthitta district, where the renowned hilltop temple of Lord Ayyappa is situated. At an online event, he stated, “Process has been initiated to construct a new airport for Sabarimala. Necessary permissions for the same have been received.”
During the two-month annual pilgrimage season in November and December, the Sabarimala shrine receives a large number of devotees from different parts of the country and abroad. In the 2022 season, the Travancore Devaswom Board reported that almost 30 lakh pilgrims had visited the temple.