Thursday, June 15, 2023

Karnataka govt to object to handing over Mangaluru International Airport to Adani Group

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government revealed that it will write to the Centre, objecting to the decision of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to hand over operations and management (O&M) of Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) to the Adani Group.

MB Patil, infrastructure development minister, who on Tuesday said the state government is planning to operate all new airports, told TOI: “While we cannot undo what has been done, we will question the decision. ” The minister said letters will be sent to AAI and the Centre.

“I was shocked with the decision,” he said. “It suggested the Karnataka government was not consulted on the issue. We will see how the Centre responds to handing over O&M of the airport to a private player. ”

Patil was also critical of AAI and the central government’s policy of using state resources for airports but not sharing any revenue with the state. “We pay for the land, we pay for the basic infrastructure, and then they [AAI] take over for what purpose? To distribute them to private players?” he said.

Patil said the state government pays Rs 6-8 crore as recurring costs — for water, electricity, and other amenities — to run airports. “Whyshould we pay when a subsidiary company of the state government can do the same work? We will at least have control of the airport’s capital investments,” he said. Patil said the government is also planning to suggest to AAI and the Centre that all land on which airports are constructed should be in the name of the Karnataka government. “We will give land on long-term lease and renew it on a 30-year or more basis,” he said.

15/06/2023 Sandeep Moudgal/Times of India

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