The Kerala cabinet on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for setting up a greenfield airport at Sabarimala to cater to lakhs of devotees who visit the famous Lord Ayyappa hill shrine every year. The cabinet entrusted the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to hold a study on the proposed airport, an official release said here today.
Presently the only way to reach the hill shrine is by road. The increase in number of pilgrims visiting the temple had gone up in recent years and the airport is the option to reduce traffic congestion during the November-January festival season, it said.
The CPI(M)-led LDF government had proposed the airport at Erumely near the hill shrine that would benefit Sabarimala pilgrims coming from across the country and also from abroad. Erumely is located about 45 km from the temple town in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram.