RTI reveals Rs. 7 crore spent on the futile Seaplane project
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that over Rs. 7 crore were spent on creation of basic infrastructure and inauguration of the Seaplane service project linking backwater destinations in Kerala, which was ultimately grounded.
The reply to the application, provided by the Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited (KTIL), states that the task of creating basic infrastructure for the project was handed to KITCO (Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation) Limited and the organisation was given Rs. 5,63,09,602 in this regard. Apart from this, Rs. 29,69,809 were spent on the inauguration of the services by the tourism department and total expenditure on newspaper and television advertisements for inauguration and for seeking expression of interest was Rs. 1,35,76,843.
According to the reply, the money was spent without signing any memorandum of understanding with any company engaged in operating seaplanes. The RTI reply also stated that no impact assessment was done before launching the project and no talks were conducted with the fishermen unless the project was inaugurated and the project was later stalled mainly because of opposition by the fishermen community as they contended that it might hamper their livelihood.