Kerala govt opposes privatization of Trivandrum airportTop Stories

August 21, 2020 17:31
Kerala govt opposes privatization of Trivandrum airport

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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan claims that the government has the rightful claim on the management and operation of Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to PM Modi on Wednesday asking the central government to reconsider its decision on privatizing the Thiruvananthapuram International airport.

After a meeting with all the political parties, the CM wrote a two-page letter saying that since the state government has rendered assistance to the airport wholeheartedly, including providing land on various, the government ha the rightful claim to manage and operate the airport.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for leasing out Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram airports of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to Public-private partnership on Wednesday.

Adani Enterprises Ltd was considered the best bidder for the operation and development of these airports for a period of 50 years ina bidding process by AAI.

Though the Congress leader and the left parties of Kerala have opposed the move by the central government, Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram backed the decision.

He also said that his position on the airport has been consistent.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri sought to present the facts with regard to the cabinet’s approval after opposition from the state government.

He said that in their representation that followed after November 2018, the government of Kerala has requested the centre to delink the Thiruvananthapuram airport from the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) process.

The government has also cited its experience in the development of green-field airports at Cochin and Kannur.

The central government has offered a chance to the Kerala government to bid in the international bidding process in 2018.

He further said that it was stipulated that if the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation bid comes within 10 percent range of the winning bid, they would be awarded the work. There was a difference of 19.64 percent between them when the bis were open.

The winning bid quoted Rs. 168 per passenger and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation has quoted Rs. 135 per passenger and the third qualifying bidder was at Rs. 93 per passenger.

Thus, besides the special provision being given to the government of Kerala, they could not qualify in the international bidding process which was carried out in a transparent manner.

The aviation minister also added that the Kerala High Court has approached the Supreme Court in this matter and all these factors are available in the public domain.

By Gayatri Yellayi

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