Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has condemned the decision of the Government to hand over modernisation of 35 non-metro airports to the private sector despite the Airports Authority of India's (AAI) repeated offer to do the job.

The Government had shifted from its position that privatisation of the modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports was necessary to enable the AAI to pool its resources for undertaking the modernisation of the non-metro airports, a statement by the CITU said on Friday. It alleged that this was a pretext to privatise all the major revenue earning airports of the AAI and make it redundant in the civil aviation sector.

The trade union's apprehension, that the main objective in the case of Delhi and Mumbai airports was to permit commercial use of prime land by real estate developers masquerading as private partners, had come true as the Government has said that the private sector would take up the jobs of terminal and city side development, the statement said.

The CITU has warned the Government of a major land scam case if it went ahead with its plan. The idea of taking out non-metro airports for privatisation, leaving out Kolkata and Chennai, is aimed at pressuring the two non-Congress governments into falling in line, he said.