An investigation made by Avatar Today, one of the leading online investigative portals, has exposed the corruption prevailing in the Cochin International Airport Limited, which is the country’s first Public-Private Partnership airport. The terminal one, which was used as the International terminal before the inauguration of the terminal three, has been partially destructed in the name of renovation. The interior of the fifteen-year-old building structure, which had no serious damages, has been, almost, fully destructed.
The contradicting fact is that the company (CIAL), which recently took up a huge financial burden of Rs 500 crore, has happily given the contract to renovate the destructed building for a huge sum of Rs 150 crore (it is likely to cross Rs 200 crore once the process is finished), showing no hard feelings in taking the additional financial burden. Notably, the top media houses have neither reported this news nor expressed courage to follow up the news published by a fearless online portal. It is now a exposed secret that the top media houses get a huge amount in the name of advertisement from the CIAL every year. Can they forget that money?
When the Avatar Today have approached the CIAL APD, A.C.K Nair seeking the management’s version on why such a huge financial burden has been taken by the management by making way for such an unnecessary renovation process, the latter has informed the former that the CIAL aims to give more facilities to the passengers through this renovation. What is the logic behind the destructing the interior of a building without touching its exterior? Will any administrative officer in the CIAL suggest such a plan if the aforementioned structure is his or her home? Who will take responsibility for the inconvenience caused to the passengers due to this renovation?
These aforesaid questions have not received any answer from the concerned authorities.It is alleged that a former IAS officer who is one of the directors of CIAL is responsible for the miserable condition in which the organisation has fallen into. Why those who handle the audit section –the aforementioned director and another director- have not shown a red signal to the renovation program which has brought additional financial burden to CIAL?
Are the airport authorities trying to cheat the common people in the name of development?
Is this a planned move to impose ‘user fee’ on the passengers by wrongly establishing that the organisation is running in loss?
When the land for the CIAL was acquired from 2300 landowners and 872 families, it was told that the preponderance of the CIAL’s shares (that is over 51% of the total shares) would remain in the hand of the government.
Now, the government’s share in CIAL, which is aggressively moving towards the path of privatisation, has been reduced to below 26%.
In the year 2004, there were allegations that the CIAL MD clandestinely sold the shares, originally offered to the CIAL workers, which he illegally acquired in benami names, to a third party for a higher price.
The fact that the tainted MD is still sitting in the top position of CIAL, indicates that the MD, who succeeded in cheating the erstwhile CM, Oommen Chandy, has somehow won the confidence of the new regime led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who stands firmly against the corruption and cheating.
It is alleged that the MD’s move to remove the name of former Chairman V.S. Achuthanandan from the CIAL’s history is a planned move to impress the new C.M. Pinarayi Vijayan.
Until last year, the hanger program, which had been initiated by the aforesaid MD in the year 2005, was a huge burden and had no use.
The world’s first fully solar-powered airport, which was the brainchild of former CM K. Karunakaran, is now the centre of corruption.
Had the authorities refrained from such an extensive destruction, the cost of the renovation process would not have crossed above Rs 20 crore.
Who lost the money? We Public!
There is no doubt in the fact that these costly renovation programs create conductive platforms for corruption.
It is to be noted that there are many who use the CIAL as a platform to transform their black money into white through the illicit share business.
The Chief Minister of Kerala, who is the back born of the anti-corruption movement, vigilance, and the courts should try to bring those responsible to the CIAL corruption before the justice as soon as possible.
The unprecedented enthusiasm, which the, so-called, mainstream media houses have been showing to report positive news stories about the CIAL for last few days, clearly indicates that someone, somewhere, has rightly understood what is being discussed in the firebrand media and why it should be concealed from the public, who generally have no idea about what the paid news is and what the investigative news is, by showering a huge number of positive stories over them.