CIAL MD VJ Kurian to step down after 5-year post-retirement tenure today

VJ Kurian

Kochi: VJ Kurian, known for his key role in building the country's first airport under public-private partnership mode and making the project a success both financially and socially, will step down from the post of managing director of Cochin International Airport Ltd on completion of his 5-year post-retirement tenure on Wednesday.

He is a 1983 batch IAS officer, who led one of the best-run companies in the state for a record period of 19 years in three stints in its 27-year history, a CIAL statement said here on Tuesday.

S Suhas, District Collector, Ernakulam will hold the full additional charge of the post till further orders, it said.

Apart from MD-CIAL, he served the government as Sub-Collector Muvattupuzha, District Collector Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Managing Director-Oushadhi, Roads and Bridges Corporation, Kerala and Chairman-Spices board.

He was given a five-year stint in 2016 by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government on his superannuation from the post of Additional Chief Secretary.

It was one of the prolific years in CIAL's history as it invested Rs 2,016 crore for infrastructure development which included operationalisation of Terminal 3, Runway resurfacing, renovation of Terminal 1, implementation of extensive flood mitigation project and the capacity enhancement of solar plants from 14.4 MWp to 40 MWp.

His innovative idea of operating the Cochin airport fully on solar energy won the "Champions of the Earth Award" instituted by the United Nations in 2018.

The company's financial performance is notable as it has been paying dividend unfailingly from 2003-04.

The total dividend payout has touched 282 per cent in 2020-21, according to the statement.

Now, 12,000 people work at the airport premises and 25,000 were employed indirectly by it, which makes it one of the biggest employers of the state, it added.