The Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by the state government against the Centre's decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises. The plea was filed after an all party meet in the state decided against the central government's decision in August. The Kerala Assembly had also passed a "unanimous resolution" demanding the withdrawal of Union Cabinet's decision to lease out the international airport to Adani Enterprises on August 24.
The state said the Centre should re-examine its decision and the operation and management of the airport should be handed over to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in which the state government has stake. It said the Centre's decision was not justified as the state government had agreed to give the amount quoted by Adani Enterprises.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, however, said "it was stipulated that if the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) bid comes within the 10 per cent range of the winning bid, they would be awarded the work". However, there was a variance of 19.64 per cent between the KSIDC and the next bidder when bids were open, he added.
Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports -- Lucknow, Ahmedabad,Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Gywahati -- through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019. In August, the company was granted the award of airports at Guwahati, Jaipur and Trivandrum for redevelopment to Adani Enterprises.