Kerala CM criticises takeover of Thiruvananthapuram airport by Adani group

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has criticised the takeover of the Thiruvananthapuram airport by the Adani group. In the state assembly on Wednesday, the chief minister said that the takeover was not in the interest of development, but in the interest of “monopolies”.

The criticism comes at a time when an appeal against the airport’s takeover is pending in the Supreme Court.

He said, “The management of the airport is being handed over to a group who have no prior experience in it. The union government’s stand is to create a special monopoly in this sector according to their interest.”

On Tuesday, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had signed a concessions agreement with the Adani Group that would involve the group taking over management, operations, and development at the Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram airports for the next 50 years. The CM’s response comes in reaction to the signing of the agreement. 

The AAI announced on its official Twitter handle, “AAI today signed 3 Concession Agreements with Adani Airports Ltd. for Operations, Management & Development of Jaipur, Guwahati & Thiruvananthapuram Airports through PPP [public private partnership] mode. The agreements were signed in presence of Chairman, AAI & senior officials of AAI & Adani Enterprises Ltd.”

Apart from the CM, the airport employees are also in disagreement and had also staged a protest against the takeover outside the office of the Airport Director on Tuesday.

The decision by the AAI was made in spite of ongoing disagreements from both the state government and airport employees.

The CM had also argued that the state government has shown to be more than capable of managing airports in the state and the same should be continued for the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

The Union Cabinet on August of 2020 had approved a proposal for handing over six airports in the country to private developers. The Adani group had emerged victorious in the bidding. Three other airports in Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Lucknow had already been handed over to the group last year. 

Earlier, the state government had also said they were willing to match the bid made by the highest bidder. 

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