The planned privatisation of five airports in the country with the Adani Group as their operator was opposed in the Rajya Sabha Monday, with a CPI(M) MP saying the Kerala government is willing to operate the Thiruvananthapuram airport.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, K K Ragesh (CPI-M) said the Adani Group has emerged as the winner in privatisation bid of five airports at Lucknow, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru and Ahmedabad.
The Kerala government, he said, had expressed willingness to take over the Thiruvananthapuram airport but the Centre advised it to take part in the auction bid process. "It is regrettable that the state government is being considered on the same footing as the Adani Group," he said. The airport was built on land given by the state government and as such has a say in the operations of it, he said.
He said Kerala chief minister at the recent NITI Aayog meeting told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state government was willing to takeover the Thiruvananthapuram airport operation and sought immediate intervention in the matter. He, however, did not say what the response of Modi was to the proposal. He asked why "national wealth was being privatised."
"Thiruvananthapuram is a profit-making airport. Why is this airport being given to the Adani Group," he asked. Rajamani Patel (Cong) opposed the move to shift the court complex in Rewa district of Chhattisgarh as it would cause inconvenience to common people.
Land is available at the existing complex to build a new court building, he said. Vikas Mahatme (BJP) wanted cleaning of septic tanks to be done by machines and equipment with no humans having to go in them. Also, deaths in septic tanks should be mentioned in FIRs and not registered as accidental death so that higher compensation is given to family of the victim.
Prasanna Acharya (BJD) raised the issue of textile mills copying designs of tie-and-dye weavers of Odisha. Rakesh Sinha (Nominated) demanded setting up of an AIIMS at Begusarai in North Bihar for treatment of patients in the region as well as also for research on region-specific ailments. PL Punia (Cong) opposed levy of two taxes on mentha which is used to make peppermint.
India produces 80 per cent of mentha in the world and Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district is the biggest cultivator in the country, he said, adding a mandi tax is first levied on the crop considering it as a agri produce and GST levied thereafter considering it as non-agri product.
Motilal Vora (Cong) raised the issue of rising pendency of cases in high courts and the Supreme Court and wanted the government to accept the suggestion of the Chief Justice of India for raising number of judges in the apex court.