Won’t allow privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport: Kerala CM

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Via IE news ,


All political parties in Kerala, barring the BJP, Thursday said they would not allow the Centre to hand over the management and operation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport to the Adani group.

At an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the ruling Left and opposition Congress urged the Union Cabinet to revoke the decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for leasing out Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram airports for a period of 50 years. Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports — Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati — through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.

Opposing the Centre’s decision, CM Vijayan had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that “in view of the unilateral decision taken by the Union government without giving credence to the argument raised by the state, it would be difficult for us to offer co-operation for the implementation of the decision, which is against the wishes of the people of the state”.

The state government has been of the view that the airport’s operations should be entrusted to a special purpose vehicle (SPV), in which the state government should be a major stakeholder. The CM, in his letter, said the state had transferred 23.57 acre land to the Airport Authority of India free of cost, subject to the condition that the land’s value would reflect as state share capital in the proposed SPV.

Rejecting the opposition by the state government, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Kerala government did not qualify in the airport’s bidding process that was carried out in a transparent manner.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)

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