THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Cabinet approval to the proposals for leasing out three major airports - Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru - to Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) has given a sliver of hope to the state government. The Union Government has not touched upon the Trivandrum, Jaipur and Guwahati airports as they were mired in controversy after the respective state governments in Kerala and Rajasthan and the Airport Authority of India staff opposed the move to privatise them.
The state government delegation had recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to return Trivandrum airport to the state government. Though a formal decision was not taken on this matter, various options, according to sources, are doing the rounds. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and son of Adani Group chief had visited the Chief Minister in the Assembly.
It is believed their visits were part of a negotiation between the state and Adani. However, government officials are tightlipped on the meeting. An officer close to the Airport Authority of India confirmed that among the various options being discussed, one was about giving stakes in proportion to the state investment in the airport to Kerala government. And a consortium of companies formed under the aegis of the state government running the airport in association with Adani.
‘State informed its view to the Centre’
The Chief Minister’s Office reiterated its stance that the state would not give exclusive rights to Adani group to run the airport. “We have informed our take on this issue to the Centre and it is up to them to take a decision on this matter,” they said. They also denied the discussion centred on sharing stakes between the state and Adani.