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Thiruvananthapuram airport employees protest against takeover by Adani Group

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Thiruvananthapuram airport’s employees on Tuesday protested against the takeover of the airport by Adani Group. The protest was staged in front the airport director’s office after the conglomerate signed the concession agreements in Delhi with AAI for the operations, management and development of three airports—Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur and Guwahati.

It was the contention of the protesting employees that when a petition against the takeover by Adani Group was already pending in the Supreme Court, why the agreement with the AAI was signed in haste.

Employees worried about future

“Now the government has decided to handover the airport to Adani. Now, what about the employees? Will they be sold to Adani as well? What if the employees, who were recruited by the Airports Authority of India are asked to work under Adani and they refuse?” they asked.

“There is no reason to sell this airport, but just to help the businessman. AAI has been giving crores of tax to the Government of India (GoI),” they said.

Delhi and Mumbai are the major source of income for the AAI.

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“However, the private management there, with the backing of a court order, are not sharing their income with the GOI, citing COVID-19 pandemic. What if other airports also do the same?” they asked.

Besides the three airports, the Centre had in February 2019 privatised the Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Mangaluru airports.

Kerala CM had written to PM on the issue

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Centre to reconsider its decision. Notably, the state government through its SPV, which participated in the bidding process, had expressed the willingness to match the highest bidder.

As the state government had rendered assistance to the airport wholeheartedly, including providing land on various stages, Kerala government had the rightful claim on the management and operation of Trivandrum International Airport, the CM has said in his letter.

 

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