State government offers free land for Space Institute

State government offers free land for Space Institute

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Thiruvananthapuram, India, November 22, 2007: Seeking to end the long-drawn row over the land for ISRO’s Space Institute in Kerala, the State Government offered 100 acres of land free-of-cost close to the Ponmudi, a hill station in the district, to the space agency. Disclosing this during his weekly cabinet briefing, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan denied reports in a section of media that the proposed land at Thennur village, which is a forest land.

“There is no dispute over the land. It comes under the Revenue department and not at the disposal of the Forest department,” the Chief Minister said when his attention was drawn to reports that Divisional Forest Officer in charge of the area had raised objections to the transfer of the land.

To a question that if he thought that this decision would bring all the related controversy to an end, he said “there has never been any dispute between ISRO and the state government.”

The earlier plan of ISRO to acquire an estate at Ponmudi to locate its Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology had run into trouble after it was found that the land under question was notified as Ecologically Fragile Land a few years back.