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    Mumbai Airport asks Air India to surrender non-core land, including housing colonies

    Mumbai Airport asks Air India to surrender non-core land, including housing colonies

    Mumbai Airport asks Air India to surrender non-core land, including housing colonies
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    MIAL sent a notice to the Tata Group-owned Air India on March 11, asking it to surrender the land that is not core to its operations.

    Around 1,600 families may have to leave the Air India's four staff colonies in Mumbai’s Kalina after the airline was asked to vacate the premises by the Adani group-owned Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
    MIAL sent a notice to the Tata Group-owned Air India on March 11 asking it to surrender the land that is not core to its operations, Business Standard reported. However, CNBCTV18 could not independently confirm the report.
    In the notice, MIAL asked Air India to review the utilisation of the airport land, enter into agreements with its former engineering and ground handling subsidiaries and return the remaining land to the Mumbai airport, the report said.
    Air India has been given 45 days by MIAL to take necessary steps. In case Air India fails to take action, the airport authority will be forced to restrain the airline and its staff from entering and utilising the premises, the notice said.
    Meanwhile, the residents of Air India staff colonies in Kalina have moved the Bombay High Court to stall the eviction.  Residents of the 1,600 flats in the four colonies held a rally on Sunday evening to protest against the move and demanded that the government allow them to live in the staff quarters till their retirement.
    Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar and NCP’s former legislator Vidya Chavan have backed their cause, The Times of India reported.
    While Kirtikar said his party was prepared to protest against the eviction, Chavan sought the state government’s intervention in the matter.
    Air India had constructed the first of these quarters in 1955. The land on which the colonies now stand belongs to the Maharashtra government. It was first leased to the Airports Authority of India and later to MIAL, which is now under the Adani Group of Companies.
    MIAL claimed that 750,000 square metres of airport land in Kalina and Sahar areas of Mumbai is currently under use by Air India. The airline has been using the space to house hangars, offices, cargo warehouses, housing colonies, ramp operation office, sports club and for parking ground services equipment and paying tariff at highly concessional rates.
    “The issue here is Air India has been paying a pittance for utilising the airport land, while MIAL would like to charge commercial rates,” Business Standard quoted a source as saying. So far, the airport could not raise the rates as Air India was a government entity, the source said.
    According to the notice sent to Air India, MIAL had initiated discussions with the airline and the civil aviation ministry earlier as well, asking them to surrender airport land. Although, Air India agreed to surrender several parcels, including the housing colonies, the discussions remained inconclusive, the notice said.
    Both Air India and the Adani group were not available for comments on the issue.
     
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