Employees of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport raised slogans and protested in front of the office of the Director today against the takeover of the airport by the Adani Group.
The protest was held hours after the Adani Group signed concession agreements in Delhi today with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the management, operations and development of the Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, Jaipur airports.
The employees said their Special Leave Petition is pending in the Supreme court and wanted to know the reason for the rush in signing the agreement by the AAI.
"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.
"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.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Centre to reconsider its decision.
As the state government had rendered assistance to the airport wholeheartedly, including providing land on various stages, the Kerala government had the rightful claim on the management and operation of Trivandrum International Airport, Mr Vijayan had stated in the letter.
The state government through its SPV, which participated in the bidding process, had expressed the willingness to match the highest bidder.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)