GUWAHATI: The Asom Songrami Mancha on Saturday demanded Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to press the Centre to withdraw the decision of privatising Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBIA).
Stating that the Centre’s move to hand over the LGBI Airport to private operators was an insult to the people of Assam, Mancha executive president Adip Kumar Phukan said, “Government of Assam provided 627.48 hectors of land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the construction of LGBIA. Hence, the state government of Assam should retain its share equal to that value of the land provided to the authority.”
The Union Cabinet on August 20 approved a proposal to privatise six airports – Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mengaluru and Thiruvanathapuram Airport and the LGBI Airport.
Highlighting that the state government of Kerala has written a letter to Prime minister Narendra Modi and decided to move the High Court in protest against the decision, Phukan said, “If the state government of Keral can protest, why not the government of Assam?”
He argued, “If the Modi-led BJP government was so keen to hand over the Guwahati airport to a private operator, why it spent Rs 1,383 in the name of beautification? Was it a waste of the public money?”
Earlier on Friday, expressing displeasure over the Union Civil Aviation Ministry’s decision, the Airport Authority Employees Union also staged protest at the Guwahati airport premises.
The LGBI Airport, also known as Guwahati Airport and formerly as Borjhar Airport, is the primary airport of the North-Eastern states. It is managed by AAI and also serves as an Indian Air Force base in the region.