The Central government’s decision to hand over three airports of Kerala including the one at Thiruvananthapuram to a private company for a period of fifty years is being strongly opposed by the Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
He said that he and his government strongly opposed the government’s move and said that this decision goes against the personal assurance that was given to them during a meeting with the prime minister in New Delhi.
The chief minister has written to PM Modi which said that such a decision overlooked Kerala’s repeated requests against the privatisation of Kerala’s airports. Kerala has again and again made a request to the Centre for the airport’s operations and management to be transferred to a Special Purpose Vehicle in which the government holds a major stake. He said that the decision of privatisation is against the assurance that was given to the state government by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Government of India in 2003.
The Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has also called an all party meet to discuss the Centre’s decision of leasing out the airports in Kerala on a public-private partnership. Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor has supported the decision to allow private operations to manage the airport as he sees this as the only way to make airports flourish. And also underlined that even though a private firm would manage it, the responsibilities of Security, Customs, ATC, immigrations etc would still remain with the government.
BJP MP Muraleedharan has also supported the move and said that privatisation alone could support world class amenities and facilities for passengers using the airport.