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CPI(M), Trinamool join hands in RS to oppose airport privatisation

CPI (M) and Trinamool Congress on Tuesday joined hands in the Rajya Sabha over “privatisation” of airports and questioned how this “loot” of public money was being allowed.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, CPI (M) leader Tapan Sen said private agencies were being roped in for operation and maintenance of airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad even as Airport Authority of India (AAI) had carried out modernisation work at these airports with public money.

Noting that 20 airports in the country were modernised with public money worth over Rs 27,000 crore, Sen claimed that the AAI, which carried out this work, was now virtually being converted into a body only renting its properties out.

Another CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the government had ten years ago decided that AAI would modernise all airports after Mumbai and Delhi were given away to private-led consortia. “Under what authority is this policy now being reversed,” he asked.

In a separate Zero Hour mention, Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy questioned the proposed construction of a shopping mall at Kolkata airport. While claiming that three acres of land within Kolkata airport is now being transformed into a shopping mall, he said, “The land was earmarked for new five-storied technical block of the Air Traffic Control and an 80-feet tower. But now a shopping mall is coming up in the same property. This is a scam,” Roy said while seeking a reply from the government.
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