Thiruvananthapuram: The Centre’s attempt to privatise Trivandrum International Airport, disregarding the protest of the state and Airport Authority of India (AAI) employees, received a major snub on Friday with the latter blocking the attempt of a delegation from GMR Airports Ltd to inspect the airport for the competitive bidding.
A delegation of four members of GMR reached the airport in the morning reportedly from Mangaluru after inspecting the Mangalore airport.
But their attempt to hold an inspection of the airport was thwarted by the employees who are allied to the Airport Authority Employees Union. Despite the intervention of the police, the delegation couldn’t hold the inspection of the airport due to the stiff resistance from the employees and they departed without meeting the airport director.
When Express contacted the airport director, he said he was out of station and not aware of the development at the airport on Friday. Meanwhile, various stakeholders involved in the development of the airport have upped their ante against airport privatisation.
The state government was on a mission to acquire 18 acre from the Vallakadavu Vayyamoola region for the second phase development of the international terminal of the airport. However, the Vllakadavu Vayyamoola Karma Samithi the other day come forward saying it will not attend the hearing called by the authorities on January 24 at the Collectorate in connection with rehabilitation package announced by the government. If the Centre moves ahead with privatisation, they will not provide the land for the project, they said.
While office-bearers of the Airport Authority Employees Union said they would not allow anyone to enter the airport in connection with the airport privatisation, private players aiming to bid for the airport have held recces of the airport property. In the coming days, other companies which aim to take part in the bidding are expected to reach Thiruvananthapuram.
In the meantime, the state government has authorised the KSIDC to take necessary action to form a special purpose vehicle, Trivandrum International Airport Ltd, for participating in the bid published by AAI for privatising the airport.
12/01/19 New Indian Express