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Friday, Aug 04, 2006

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Airport staff oppose MIAL move to demolish houses

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Aug. 3

As the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), floated by the GVK-led consortium, took over the management of Mumbai airport, after a three-month transition period from Wednesday midnight, the company was faced with protests from employees on the issue of demolition of housing quarters and wearing of new uniform.

After MIAL issued a circular, informing that the 800-odd quarters of AAI colony would be demolished, there was a wave of protests from the Airport Authority Employee Union. Although the circular was subsequently withdrawn, the Union continues to observe work-to-rule, seeking an assurance that the management would never revive the proposal.

`Making gains'

When contacted, Mr Nitin Jadhav, Joint-General Secretary of the Union, told Business Line that the company intended to make real estate gains by demolishing the housing quarters, which sprawled over an area of about 37 acres in a prime location near Andheri. "The value of this land at present rate will be about Rs 505 crore. Obviously, the company wants to make real estate gains by setting up five-star hotels and other money-making ventures," he said, adding that the Union would continue to oppose any such move.

The initiative of the company to provide a new look to the airport ambience by giving all its employees a new uniform has also not gone down well with the Union. "We were informed about this decision by our General Manager (Ambience Manager). But we are going to oppose this too," he said.

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