A seven-member expert panel has given the go-ahead for the acquisition of 67.68 acres of land at Valiamala in the district for the expansion of Indian Space Research Organisation's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).
The land, adjacent to the sprawling 260.50-acre LPSC campus in Karippur village, is vital to the growth of the ISRO facility and national progress, noted the committee headed by L Tarabhai, former professor, Department of Sociology, Madurai Kamaraj University.
The expert committee was tasked with evaluating the social impact assessment carried out at Valiamala by Rajagiri outREACH, the professional service arm of the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences. The targeted land is ideal for LPSC’s purpose and the acquisition has been kept to a minimum, the panel noted.
In all, 48 families will be affected by the decision. The committee, which included P. Harikeshavan Nair and Chitralekha S.L., councillors of Valiamala and Mannoorkonam wards respectively, has called for speedy and adequate measures for the rehabilitation and compensation under existing laws and regulations.
As the acquisition is essential for the development of the LPSC, the land acquisition should be carried out without delay, the committee noted in a set of recommendations to the State government. It further noted that the takeover should be completed by rectifying defects in land resurvey in the targeted properties.
Moreover, the panel has asked the government to make sure that members of the resettled families are offered jobs when the expansion of the LPSC is undertaken.
Tasked with the development of liquid propellants for the Indian space programme, the LPSC grew out of the Liquid Propulsion Project and the Auxiliary Propulsion Systems Unit in the 1980s. The two units were merged to form the Liquid Propulsion Systems Unit (LPSU) and, subsequently, expanded to the LPSC.
The State government had appointed Rajagiri outREACH to carry out the social impact assessment in September 2018. The expert committee, which was formed subsequently, also included P.K. Bhaskaran Nair, former professor, Kerala University; former Deputy Collectors Indu Kaladharan and S. Shambhudevan Nair, and Mallikarjuna Rao, Group Head, LPSC.