Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the issue of rising air fares in the country, saying that it was not only causing hardship to non-resident Indians, but was also affecting revival of the tourism sector which is vital to the economy.
Besides the rising air fares, another issue which Vijayan drew the Prime Minister’s attention to was the Railways decision to abandon the Nemom Coaching Terminal project in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Kerala Chief Minister sought Modi’s intervention for reconsidering abandoning of the project and to instead ensure that it gets early approval.
Both the issues were raised by Vijayan in separate letters addressed to the Prime Minister on July 2.
With regard to the air fares, the Kerala Chief Minister said airline ticket charges both in the international and domestic sectors were ”exorbitantly high” when compared to the pre-COVID rates and the same were affecting the NRIs.
He further said in the letter that the tourism sector in Kerala is on the threshold of a turnaround and the high air fares ”are a serious dampener to the revival of this sector”.
”I request your immediate personal intervention in this matter so as to alleviate the difficulties of NRIs and to help the tourism sector, the revival of which is vital for our economy,” Vijayan said in the letter.
In the other communication, the Chief Minister said the Railways’ decision to drop the Nemom Coaching Terminal project was ”a major setback to the rail infrastructure development of Kerala”.
He said the project was first included in the Union Budget of 2011-12 and its importance was acknowledged by the Union Railways Minister while laying its foundation stone in March 2019.
Vijayan said landowners whose land was acquired for the project would be put to undue hardship.
”The Nemom Coaching Terminal project, which is proposed as a satellite terminal for trains departing from and terminating at Thiruvananthapuram Central, is essential for the development of rail traffic in the State. I request you to intervene so that the decision to abandon the above project is reconsidered and to ensure that an early approval is granted for the same,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.