Decision to lease TVM airport to Adani, a big scam: Kadakampally Surendran

Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran has termed the Central Government decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram Airport to Adani Enterprises as a “big scam”.

“This is daylight robbery. Despite our requests, the airport has been leased to the Adani group, which is a large conglomerate,” the minister said.

Adani has won the rights to operate the airport for 50 years.

The Kerala government has been opposing privatisation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport for a long time. The state had even expressed willingness to create a separate company to run the airport.

The minister termed the privatization move as unacceptable citing that the majority of the 635 acres of land, where the airport is located, was handed over by the erstwhile king of Travancore and the State government over the years.

Surendran said this move to privatise the airport should be dropped. “This step has been taken by totally disregarding the viewpoint of the state government,” he said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June last year, had raised this issue requesting the TVM airport be excluded from the nation-wide privatisation of airports.

The state government and Airport Authority Employees’ Union (AAEU) had petitioned the court challenging the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) proposal for privatisation. The case is still pending.