THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, is likely to take control of the airport here by October 14 night.
The private company which won the bid for running the airport for the next 50 years has reportedly sought a three-month extension for the takeover after the agreement signed between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the company expired on July 18.Though AAI has not formally issued any order, sources close to the authority confirmed that the Centre has allowed the extension for three more months which will expire on October 18.
According to sources, the company is going ahead with the preparations for the takeover by October 14 night. The company had deputed officials who have been making arrangements in the airport to facilitate this.The valuation of the airport’s assets has almost been completed. Though the officials are tight-lipped on the valuation, it is learnt that the assets of the airport, which was listed for Rs 800 crore in the bid document, are now valued at Rs 273 crore.
Though Adani Group is moving ahead with the preparations, the state government is yet to reveal its mind on supporting the private company which won the bid for the airport, beating its own bid.The state government had announced in the assembly and outside it that it would not allow a private company to run the airport in Thiruvananthapuram. It had also announced that it would not sign the state support agreement with the private company which is essential for ensuring the basic utilities required for running the airport.
Airports Authority Employees Union leaders had met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan a day before the latter met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on July 13. During the meeting, the chief minister had assured them that the state would not cooperate with the private concessionaire.
However, if the company comes with a court order, the state has no other option but to support it.
“We are still hopeful that the airport takeover would not be an easy affair for the group. In a majority of the airports taken over by the group, the salaries of employees are still being paid by AAI after the private company refused to pay citing losses incurred due to the absence of flight operations. It had not even paid the passenger fee (collected at these airports) to AAI as per the tender document,” said S Ajith Kumar, branch secretary, Airports Authority Employees Union.
STATE GOVT YET TO REVEAL ITS MIND ON TAKEOVER
Though Adani Group is moving ahead with the preparations, the state government is yet to reveal its mind on supporting the private company which won the bid for the airport, beating its own bid.