Anil Ambani’s Reliance Airport Developers Private Limited (RADPL) is set to lose the five airports leased out to it by the Maharashtra government in 2009, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said this in the state assembly.
RADPL, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure led by Anil Ambani, was given the charge of Baramati, Nanded, Latur, Yavatmal, and Osmanabad airports for 30 years. All of them are non-functional today.
Replying to a question by senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan on regional connectivity in the state, Deputy CM Fadnavis said in the assembly, “RADPL is not doing maintenance of the airports and even not paying the statutory dues because of which Nanded airport was shut down. We will discuss the legalities of taking possession of the airports with the advocate general. The state government will also pay all the dues for the five airports and recover the amount from the firm”.
Chavan said the state had around 32 airports and airstrips, of which only 11 were functional. The Congress leader said the Nanded airport was shut for quite some time, and added, “Even the Mumbai airport is not giving enough slots for flights to major cities, which has made intra-state traveling difficult”.
Fadnavis assured him that they would try to get more slots at the Mumbai airport. It will soon have a high-level meeting with the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) officials and would direct them to provide more slots for major cities of the state.
Fadnavis has also declared to form a nodal agency that will look after the development of the airports. The BJP leader said the government had decided to build one helipad each in all the talukas (tehsil), for which they had formed a committee to inspect the technical feasibility of the spots.
Further, Fadnavis claimed that the Navi Mumbai airport would become operational next year.