Replying to a submission on the issue in the assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, "Government will support the project if the promoters come with environment friendly and legally valid proposal".

However, he said it was for the promoters to get necessary legal clearance and government would not go for any appeal on the issue. It was the responsibility of the promoters to get legal clearance for the project, he said.

On the decision of the Chennai bench of National Green Tribunal to halt the KGS group promoted Aranmula airport for environmental reasons, Chandy said it was on technical grounds.

The House also witnessed war of words between Chandy and former Minister and CPI-M politburo member MA Baby over the sanction given to the project.

Baby, who raised the issue in the House, said a recent remark of Finance Minister K M Mani that government would go ahead with the project amounted to challenging a constitutional body like Green Tribunal and wanted to know from Chandy, the stand of the government on the project in the wake of CAG report and Tribunal verdict.

Mani clarified that he had only said that government would support the project if it was "environment friendly". What is wrong in that statement, he asked.

Chandy said media reports suggested that CAG had criticised both the LDF and UDF government on the project and said "CAG pointed out only about this government taking share in the project. But, all necessary clearance was given by the previous LDF government," he said.

"It was the government in which you (Baby) were a Cabinet Minister which took the decision to give sanction for the project," Chandy said.

The CAG report recently tabled in the House had found a series of violations in the process of getting clearance for the project.

The proposed Rs 3,000 crore project in Pathanamthitta district had ran into trouble from the very beginning with environmental activists and local Aranmula Heritage Protection Committee coming out against the project.


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