Govt leasing out 6 airports to Adani: Employees urge PM Modi to release white paper on it, stage dharna
The protestors alleged nepotism and corruption in the tendering process and claimed that the Modi government willfully deviated from laid down rules and policies to favour the Adani Group
Thousands of employees working at six airports leased out by the government to the Adani Group sat on a dharna on Thursday demanding a high-level probe into alleged irregularities in the tendering process. They also urged PM Narendra Modi to release a White Paper on the issue.
A joint forum of unions and associations led by Airports Authority Employees Union (AUE) claimed that family members of employees also participated in the dharna.
The management of six airports — Ahmedabad, Mangaluru, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram — has been handed over to the Adani Group by the Centre.
The protestors alleged nepotism and corruption in the tendering process and claimed that the Modi government wilfully deviated from laid down rules and policies to favour the Adani Group.
“The tendering process was tailor-made to fit Adani Enterprises and only the concerns of Adani Enterprises were addressed while finalizing the tender conditions,” said the AUE.
It said that after having taken control of profit-making airports, Adani Enterprises would establish its monopoly over the aviation industry in India, adding, “It will adversely affect the existence of AAI.”
“Per passenger fee of Rs. 115-168 (quoted by Adani Enterprises) was too low when compared with the rate quoted by GMR for Bhogapuram Airport (Rs 303) and by Zurich International for Jewar Airport (Rs 400),” AUE said.
It demanded that a White Paper must be issued by the PM on the issue, adding that the PM should prove that contentions raised by Niti Aayog, Union Finance Ministry and Law Ministry are baseless.
In a report published on October 15, 2020, National Herald had elaborated how the Modi government had flouted the rules in favour of Adani Group.
“Handing over of six airports to Adani Enterprises for a period of 50 years is in complete violation of AAI Act, 1994 which says no airport can be leased out to any private player for more than 30 years…Major airport players were kept away from the bidding process due to the unnecessary time constraints put by the ministry,” it had pointed out, among other things.