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Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: Water supply and several other basic facilities at Air India’s posh Vasant Vihar colony were discontinued on Monday evening, in a bid to get employees to vacate the same.
The government had asked close to 2,000 AI employees living in the airline’s staff colonies, Vasant Vihar in Delhi and Kalina in Mumbai, to vacate their official accommodation latest by July 26, 2022 — six months after AI’s divestment — or face staff fines and also lose retirement benefits.
The residents had moved court against this order.
“The Vasant Vihar AI Colony’s water supply was stopped. Lifts of the multi-storey apartments are not functioning. Security staff is being withdrawn. There used to be essential staff like electricians and plumbers on call and they have also gone. The contract for these service providers was till September 30 and the same has not been extended,” said a resident.
Comments have been sought from AI and are awaited.
“All this action like stopping water supply has been taken without any notice. The matter is sub judice and the next date of hearing was approaching,” said another resident. Several people living in the colony protested the action. Pilots who are yet to vacate AI colonies have not been paid their 25% pay that has been withheld by the airline for years.
AI was handed over to the Tatas this January-end. The GoM on AI divestment had on August 9, 2021, decided that AI employees can continue staying at the company’s residential properties post divestment “for a period of six months or till the property is monetised, whichever is earlier.”
AI employees overstaying in the airline’s colonies beyond the permitted period post divestment in Delhi and Mumbai were warned that they will be slapped with penalties of Rs 10 and Rs 15 lakh, respectively, and also charged double the market rent for unauthorised period of stay. This amount will be recovered from their dues, according to the “mechanism for prompt vacation of accommodation at AI colonies.”
A special purpose vehicle, AI Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), was created to take over AI’s non aviation assets and gradually monetise them to pay off the airline’s debt retained by the government.

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