Sunday, July 23, 2023

Maharashtra may take back control of five airports leased to Anil Ambani firm, says Fadnavis

Mumbai: In the ongoing Monsoon session of the assembly, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has assured the House that the airports lying unused due to non-payment of dues by Reliance Airport Developers Ltd would be soon made operational.

He said that the government will be taking the legal opinion of the attorney-general on how to recover the dues from Reliance (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani) Group and whether the government can instead take control of the airports.

“It is true that we gave some of the airports to Anil Ambani’s Reliance company in 2008-09. But now the condition is such that they are not maintaining these airports, nor are they paying the statutory dues,” Fadnavis said Friday, after a point of intervention by senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan.

“So now, we are taking the opinion of the Attorney General on whether we can get full control of the airports from them because of the nonpayment of dues. Secondly, we are also thinking of paying off those dues on the condition that the company will pay us back so that at least these airports can be restarted.”

Chavan mentioned that there are five airports under the Reliance (ADA) Group and that its chairman Anil Ambani has openly declared bankruptcy. “We expect that in the next 8-10 days, the government should take back these airports from Reliance (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group). And then airlines should get slots in Mumbai so that at least in every region if one or two airports are operational and airlines are given slots, the connectivity in Maharashtra will improve greatly,” he added.

In 2009, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Airports Developers was given a contract to develop five airports at Latur, Nanded, Yavatmal, Baramati and Osmanabad in rural Maharashtra. The company had to shell out Rs 63 crore to get a 30-year lease for these five airports in Maharashtra. But Ambani declared bankruptcy in a UK court in 2020.

The Print reached Reliance (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani) Group via calls for a response but the group refused to comment.

Maharashtra has 28 airports of which 11 are operational while four are in the pipeline, according to the government.

Giving details of other important airports in the state, Fadnavis said that the Navi Mumbai airport is near completion and will be operational next year. “Once this airport begins, the regional connectivity issue will be resolved as currently the Mumbai airport is not able to give viable slots for regional connectivity,” said Fadnavis

23/07/2023 Purva Chitnis/Print

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment