Bids open amidst strike threat
The Government may invoke ESMA to stop airport staff from going on a strike.india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 16:05 IST
As modernisation bid on the runway, the Government may invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to stop the airport employees from going on a strike.
The Government's decision may come in the wake of a threat by airport employees to strike work to protest the "privatisation" of Delhi and Mumbai airports.
Sources said the option to impose ESMA was open in case the employees went on a flash strike. However, no decision has been taken as yet.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Ministry headquarters at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, which also houses the Airports Authority of India (AAI) head office, was under a virtual siege by police and paramilitary personnel, even as hundreds of employees gathered there for a lunch-hour demonstration.
The AAI officers and employees, under the umbrella body of AAI Employees Joint Forum, have threatened to go on a flash strike if the financial bids are opened without considering the Alternative Plan for modernising the two metro airports.
They have also threatened closure of all airports on a short notice.
The bids are likely to be opened at 1530 hours followed by a meeting of the empowered Group of Ministers later in the evening.
The sources said the GMR Group-led consortia, which had been evaluated and passed, would get one of the two airports (most likely Delhi) with the other one going to the consortium, which bid the highest among the remaining bidders.
The employees' proposal, submitted last year to the Prime Minister, was reviewed by the Alternate Plan Review Committee headed by AAI Member (Finance) VDV Prasada Rao and described as viable.
First Published: Jan 31, 2006 10:24 IST