Logistics

Kerala govt moves HC against airport contract granted to Adani

KC Gopakumar Kochi | Updated on March 07, 2019 Published on March 06, 2019

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The Union government as well as the Airport Authority of India took initial steps for giving concessions for the operation of the airport to private operators

The State government on Wednesday filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court challenging the move by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to grant right of operation, management and development of the Thiruvananthapuram Airport to Adani Enterprises Limited.

In its petition, Jyothilal, Principal Secretary, Transport Department said that the Centre had assured the State in 2003 that, taking into account the contribution being made by the State for acquisition of additional land for the airport, the government will be consulted at the time when a decision to induct private sector in the management of the airport would be taken.

In total negation of the assurance, the Union government as well as the Airport Authority of India took initial steps for giving concessions for the operation of the airport to private operators.

The Central Government also declined the request of the State to transfer the operation of the airport to the government which could form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and tie up with a partner proven in the management of the airport and in the alternative to offer the right of first refusal to the SPV of the Kerala government without any range parameters. However, the Union Ministry stated that parameters for the Right to First Refusal was required to maintain the sanctity of the bidding process and that further enlargement of the range beyond 10 per cent was not advisable for the reason.

Right to First Refusal

“There was no question of fixing of any range parameters in the right of first refusal. The stand of the ministry was arbitrary and illegal as the grant of such right would have only furthered the cause of statutory mandate of public interest and better management of the Airport at Thiruvananthapuram. Besides the clause regarding the previous experience was intentionality omitted from the RFP to avoid the government and its instrumentality,” the petition said.

Published on March 06, 2019
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