Air India to auction a 24-ground prime property at Teynampet in Anna Salai
Air India has started to sell its land in 13 cities, including a 24-ground land on Anna Salai at Teynampet in Chennai, where it was once planning to build its city office. The land in Chennai will be up for bidding starting from Rs 4 crore per ground.
The airline has decided to do an e-auction of properties at Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa, Lucknow, Bhuj, Nasik, Pune, Trivandrum, Gurgoan and Gwalior. Most of the property are office blocks, land for residential blocks, bunglows, flats and other assets.
Sources said that the move was to dispose off property which the airline did not want and use the money earned to reduce its loan burden.
The land at Teynampet is located in prime area.
An official said that the property at Teynampet was purchased from a private individual in the late 80s as the airline was creating assets for offices and residential space for its staff in all cities.
“There was not enough frontage available into Anna Salai to build an office so we spoke to defence and bought land to connect the plot to the main road. However, there was a delay in building the office complex. Later, the headquarters dropped the plan.”
The idea was to move the offices of Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines including booking offices and commercial and other wings functioning at Egmore next to Rani Meyyammai Hall to the new building proposed in Teynampet. But, the plan did not take off.
The land and property in these cities are being auctioned off as part of monetisation of assets plan which kicked in after the cabinet cleared disinvestment of the airline. “Though the airline may be making money, the loan burden will pull down the value and will discourage investors,” he added.
Aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju is reported to have said “It is in a debt trap. Now a debt trap might not attract serious buyers. We have to see how we can get out of that debt trap as far as the economic activity is concerned.”