Thursday, August 20, 2020

‘Privatisation of Trivandrum Airport Against Wishes of People’: Kerala CM Vijayan Writes to PM Modi

New Delhi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejecting that Union Cabinet’s approval to hand over Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to the private sector.
In a two-page renunciation, CM Vijayan said that the transfer of the airport to a private bidder is “against the wishes of the people” of Kerala and the Centre should reconsider the decision.
“It has been reported that the Union Cabinet has decided to hand over the management and operation of Trivandrum International Airport to a private bidder ignoring the repeated requests of the Government of Kerala entrusting the same to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in which the State Government is a major stakeholder,” the Kerala CM said in the letter.
“The assurance was that as and when induction of a private player is considered, Government of India would factor in the contributions made by the State Government to the development of the Trivandrum Airport,” he wrote, adding that it was discussed during a personal meeting in Delhi.
Vijayan requested the Centre to either delink the Trivandrum Airport from the newly-announced privatisation of airports under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, or allow the SPV to have the right to first refusal to match the quote of the highest bidder.
“In view of the unilateral decision of the Government of India without giving credence to the cogent arguments put forward… it will be difficult for us to offer co-operation to the implementation of the decision,” the letter read.
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