Despite getting an eviction notice, Air India employees refuse to leave their company-provided housing, claiming that they intend to stay in their flats till retirement unless alternate arrangements are made.
Employees who were dissatisfied with the government’s attempt to force them to surrender their flats staged a protest march. The Mumbai International Airport of the Adani Group issued the eviction notice (MIAL). Hundreds of Air India employees, including engineers, ground staff, and other professionals, were required to vacate 1600 staff quarters in Kalina when the company was privatised.
Air India gave these employees six months to vacate their houses, which were handed to them in lieu of a house rent allowance and are conveniently placed near the airport, in 2021. Despite the infamous Mumbai traffic snarls and severe rains during the monsoons, the staffs are only able to make it to the airport on time for duty because of the close proximity to the airport.
During the lockdown, the help and cooperation of these personnel located near the airport was also crucial, since they were the ones working with cargo aircraft bringing medications and protective equipment both within and outside the country.
The initial lease on these quarters expired over 30 years ago and has not been renewed since then, making them nearly seven decades old. The land on which they were constructed is owned by the Maharashtra government and was leased to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). It was then leased to MIAL, which is now a subsidiary of the Adani Group.