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Both sides 'agree to disagree'

Employees' union insisted on handing over of the modernisation work to AAI.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 12:51 IST

The talks between Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel ended in a stalemate on Monday.

Sources said both sides "agreed to disagree" as the unions insisted on handing over of the modernisation work of Delhi and Mumbai airports to AAI.

Patel is understood to have told the airport employees forum that their plan was considered.

However, sources refused to say whether the plan was rejected or accepted.

The employees side was led by CPM MP Diapankar Mukherjee and forum convenor MK Ghoshal.

The meeting comes ahead of the opening of the financial bids for the Delhi and Mumbai airport modernisation.

Though the minister had set a deadline of January 31 to complete the process, only one of the six shortlisted bidders could meet the eligibility criteria.

To avoid any controversy, the government decided to open the financial bids of five out of the six bidders.

But just as they were about to do solast Friday, AAI employees protested against airport privatisation.

The modernisation bids hit roadblock due to opposition from unions who fear large-scale job losses.

The Congress-led coalition government wants to use private cash to modernise and manage the two shabby international hubs that are struggling to cope with India's surging growth in air travel.

But the bidding process has been hobbled by opposition from communist allies and unions, who want the revamps to be carried out by the state

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 10:59 IST