T'puram airport can only be handed over to Adani group, states central government
Kochi: Central government stated that the bidding process of Thiruvananthapuram airport was done in a transparent manner and that no more relaxations can be granted in this regard as it would affect the bidding procedures. The airport can only be handed over to the Adani group now, the central government stated.
It was KSIDC which took part in the bidding process for the state government. When KSIDC offered a bid of Rs135 per passenger, Adani group offered Rs 168 per passenger. This was 19.64 percent more than KSIDC’s bid. KSIDC would have been eligible for special consideration, only if the difference was less than 10 percent.
Adani group will sign the contract in 45 days if they receive the national security clearance. The takeover will also be based on the verdict in the case which is under the consideration of the High Court. The airport will be given on lease for 50 years.
The money secured through leasing of airports will be used to run the airports which are operated at a loss.
The handing over of the airport will be based on the Airport Authority of India Act. The affidavit submitted by the undersecretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation mentions that the privatisation of the airport was a policy decision.
Decision against public interest, states Kerala
In the counter affidavit filed by the state government, it was mentioned that handing over the airport to Adani group was against the public interest. It is against the Airport Authority of India Act. Thiruvananthapuram airport is run at a profit and leasing it for the sake of generating income is not acceptable.
The state also argued that the airport can only be leased to a company that is valued at more than Rs 1000 crores. Adani group has taken part in the bidding of 6 airports in the country and so airports should be handed over only if the company is worth more tax Rs 6000 crores. Also, the company does not have any prior experience in running airports. The state is ready to take over the Thiruvananthapuram airport. The government should be given special consideration on this issue. The affidavit also mentioned that the assembly passed a resolution in this regard.
Meanwhile, the division bench including Justice Vinod Chandran and Justice TR Ravi, has withdrawn from the hearing of the state government's petition against the handing over of the airport. This was because one of the lawyers who appeared in the case was senior to Justice TR Ravi. The petition will now be presented before another bench.