The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSDIC) has moved the Kerala High Court against the Adani group winning the bid to manage and run the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV) on lease. The KSIDC represented the state government in the bidding process which took place last week.
KSIDC has contended that the entire tender process, which allowed for companies which had no prior experience in airport management, was ‘arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of all principles of fairness and natural justice,’ according to reports.
Along with the Thiruvananthapuram airport, the Adani group won the tender to control five airports including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports in the country. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the ruling BJP government in the centre and accused it of carrying out a scam in the tendering of the five airports to Adani enterprises.
"Heard the news that Gautam Adani's Adani Enterprises won the bid for five out of six airports by becoming the highest bidder, even after the sale and financial bids were opened by the central government today only. Adani does not know how to operate airports, but he knows Prime Minister Narendra Modi well," Pinarayi Vijayan had said at a function.
Further, Pinarayi Vijayan also alleged that the entire tendering process was mysterious, which allowed Adani to win tenders of all 5 airports.
In the financial bid that opened on Monday for the Thiruvananthapuram airport, the Adani group quoted the highest rate for a passenger at Rs 168 per passenger with the Kerala government (KSIDC) coming second at Rs 135 and the GMR group quoting Rs 63.
Although Pinarayi was initially against the central government’s decision to hand over international airports to private companies, the Kerala government later agreed to participate in the bid to retain the airports under CIAL’s ownership. Following this, the state government formed a separate company called Trivandrum International Airport Ltd. to participate in the tender process, but took part in the bidding under the name of KSIDC.