An Air India colony near Mumbai airport was razed on Wednesday, January 24, by Adani group’s Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
Around 20 structures were torn down. MIAL stated that they had acquired necessary permissions for the same and the colony was deserted and in ruins.
A spokesperson for the MIAL further stated that the demolitions conducted after due permissions were granted by authorities and are necessary for the redevelopment plan of the airport land.
The move has led to large-scale outrage among the airlines’ employees. Sanjay Lazar, a former employee at the airlines shared a video on X (formerly Twitter), decrying the incident.
In a lengthy tweet, the former general secretary of Air India Cabin Crew Association wrote, “An #Aviation chapter ends, as I woke up to images of Air India employees protesting as Adanis bulldozers moved in on the Indian Airlines colony today. Bus loads of policemen & demolition teams began as protesting ladies & gents clung to the buildings to prevent it.”
He further reminisced about his time there saying, “It’s a moment of for those of us who visited the Air India & Indian Airlines colonies as kids 50 years ago. I remember playing there with some of my best friends & even stayed there briefly 2 years ago. The end of an era in Kalina as new Adani BKC city with spanking new malls hotels & offices will spring up there in 225 acres of land #avgeek#csmia#colony#kalina#BKC.”
In the footage(s) shared by Mr. Lazar, employees can be seen protesting and resisting the authorities from bulldozing the structures.
MIAL Forced to Stop Demolition of Air India Colony
The colony was first constructed in the 1950s and houses two schools, one co-operative store and around 1800 staff quarters. In 2022 and 2023, many residents were asked to evacuate the property by Air India. However, upon moving the SC, they were able to obtain a stay on the demolition.
The residents came to know about the incident through Whatsapp, following which they convened at the spot to inquire about the matter with MIAL officials. They asked the latter to produce relevant documents however, the authorities did not cooperate; some even hurled abuse when residents protested against the razing of one vacant building. MIAL has also been accused of violating court orders and many are planning to move the Supreme court and the civil court.
The MIAL has thus, concluded the demolition process by taking down only 20 of the vacant structures leaving the other 80 inhabited buildings untouched.