Home > News > LDF govt, oppn Cong slam Centre’s decision to lease out three airports | India News

LDF govt, oppn Cong slam Centre’s decision to lease out three airports | India News


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF government in Kerala and Opposition Congress on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre over its decision to lease out three airports, including the one here, to the Adani group and charged it with privatising all PSUs while the country was battling Covid-19.
Terming the decision as “daylight robbery”, the government demanded that it be withdrawn.
The Congress too made a similar demand and said the airport belongs to the state.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
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.
“This should be considered as daylight robbery.
The Centre has decided to hand over the airport to the Adani group when the state government, which has immense experience in handling two international airports in a profitable and efficient manner, was ready to take it over,” tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran told reporters.
He said the state government has been managing the Cochin and the Kannur International Airports (CIAL and KIAL) in a profitable manner by forming a company.
“They have already sold out our port (Vizhinjam). Now our pride, the airport, has been handed over. While the Centre does not have time to handle the pandemic, they convened a cabinet meeting to hand over the airports to the Adani group for 50 years. This amounts to challenging the people of the country. They should withdraw this decision,” Surendran said.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said though the state government had expressed interest in taking over the airport, the centre refused and handed it over to a private company.
“It’s the centre’s policy to privatise all Public Sector Undertakings in the country amid the Covid situation. We condemn this move. The Centre took this decision after rejecting the state government’s proposal to take over the airport,” Chennithala said in a statement.
Surendran demanded that state BJP leaders and the union minister from the state V Muraleedharan explain their stand on the matter to the people of Kerala.
He said successive state governments had acquired at least 635 acres of land for developing the airport and recalled steps were initiated recently to take over 18 acres for runway expansion.
Surendran said the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport was the “first airport in independent India” and the “historic airport has been sold to a private person”.
“The Centre has not even considered the future of thousands of workers employed in these airports. The state government had even agreed to match the rate quoted by Adani, for acquiring the airport,” Surendran said.

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