Air India to undertake demolition of buildings

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

On the 6.07 hectare of land handed over to set up the aircraft maintenance base

Airline’s initiative to avoid procedural delays

Base being set up by Air-India Engineering Services

Thiruvananthapuram: Air-India has decided to undertake demolition of the buildings remaining on the 6.07 hectare of land handed over by the Government for the setting up of the Rs.70-crore aircraft maintenance base.

The base is being set up near the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

The delay in demolishing the buildings and quarters set up by the construction firm entrusted with the city road development project and shifting of machinery of the Trivandrum Rubber Works had prevented the authorities from commencing the work.

Airline sources told The Hindu that the national carrier was awaiting the letter from the District Collector granting permission for demolishing the remaining quarters and buildings on the land allocated free-of-cost.

Already, 90 per cent of the quarters set up by the construction firm had been demolished. “The demolition by Government agencies is likely to be time consuming as procedures would have to be followed. Hence, we have evinced interest to take up the demolition to commence the work at the earliest,” sources in the airline said.

The building of the loss-making Trivandrum Rubber Works, on the plot, is yet to be demolished. Airline sources said the Government has worked out a scheme to remove the heavy machinery in the unit to expedite the demolishing of the building. The compensation package for the workers is also yet to be finalised by the authorities.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the aircraft maintenance base along with that for the world-class terminal of the international airport on the city side during his visit to the capital in November last. The work on a modern airport terminal is in full swing.

The base is being set up by Air-India Engineering Services, a fully owned subsidiary of Air-India. As per the plan, the work on the maintenance base was to begin in March this year and was scheduled for completion in March 2008.

The national carrier had already appointed Mumbai-based Mukesh Associates as project management consultants. A meeting of airline authorities and the consultants has been convened on September 26. The plan is to develop the aircraft maintenance base for Maintenance Require Overhaul facility. The day-to-day line maintenance of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, used by Air-India Express, would be carried out at the airport as aircraft used for flight operations are ‘brand new.’

Air-India expects more aircraft of the B 737-800 series to operate from the premier airport of the State in the coming years.

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