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Tamil Nadu says won't transfer land ownership to AAI for Coimbatore airport

Finance Minister says lease payments to Tamil Nadu should be on market rate if centre transfers land to private firms

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

Shine Jacob Chennai

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Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan (PTR) said on Friday the state would lease to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) or the Centre the land needed for Coimbatore airport’s expansion, but it will not transfer ownership.

Tamil Nadu disagrees that AAI should have the right to sub-lease the land to the private sector. It said this a month after Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia urged the state government to acquire and hand over land for expanding airports in Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Tuticorin, Coimbatore and Vellore.

“Our state would only lease the needed land to the AAI/Union government, and not transfer ownership to them, as before. The lease would include a clause that the lease amount would be kept at a minimum token value as long as the airport was operated by AAI itself,” said PTR on Twitter on Friday.

He said that if the centre decides to hand over the Coimbatore airport to private players, lease payments to Tamil Nadu would go up to reflect the prevailing market value of the land. Else, state should get an equity stake in the airport equivalent to the then-prevailing value of the land.

“And that Tamil Nadu has declined AAI’s suggestion that they should have the right to sub-lease the land to a private operator (at the concessional lease rent) without our consent (and at the token value lease payment),” he said.

According to the media reports, Tamil Nadu has spent nearly Rs 2,000 crore to acquire more than 600 acres for Coimbatore airport expansion, securing around 80 per cent of the land required.

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First Published: Apr 21 2023 | 12:34 PM IST

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