Keralites in Kuwait agree to fund new Kottayam airport

July 20th, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kottayam (Kerala), July 20 (IANS) A group of Keralites settled in Kuwait has come forward to fund the building of an airport near here, said former chief minister Oommen Chandy. Chandy, who is Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, said the green signal for the funding came after several rounds of talks.

“This project has been initiated by the Kottayam district panchayat and Thomas Kunnapaly, president of the district panchayat, is in Delhi to submit the details of the project to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel,” said Chandy, who represents Puthupally constituency in Kottayam district.

A few places have been identified for setting up the airport, Chandy said.

“Initially, the plan was for a small airport with landing facilities for small aircrafts up to a seating capacity of 80. But with the proposal getting an overwhelming support from the Keralites in Kuwait, it could be even a big airport,” added Chandy.

A large number of people from Kottayam district and its neighbouring districts, including Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha, has settled in the Middle-East, Europe and in the US.

At present, the people from these districts are depending on the airports in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi to travel abroad and back to home.

“We will support the project completely as it would also give a big boost to the tourism industry in the area including Kumarakom and Munnar,” said P.C. George, a five-time legislator from Kottayam district.

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