DLF, India’s largest real estate company, wants the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to bail out its ambitious Rs 3,000-crore International Convention Centre project, the country’s largest, in Dwarka in south-west Delhi.
The alternative: it will pull out of the deal.
DLF, the sole bidder, had won the project, spread over 14 hectares, in 2007 with a Rs 901.08-crore bid. DDA had set a 32-month deadline for the centre’s completion, which was envisaged as a rival to Singapore’s Suntec Convention Centre, widely rated as the world’s best.
Now, facing a funds crunch as a result of the economic slowdown, DLF has written to DDA to relax the terms and conditions. “DLF has requested us to renegotiate or return its money,” said a senior DDA official who did not want to be named.
“We’re still talking to DDA to renegotiate the contract. No final decision has been taken as yet,” said Rajeev Talwar, group executive director, DLF.
According to the terms of the original contract, DLF was to complete the project on its own. “But now, because it is facing a liquidity crunch, it wants to form a consortium to complete the project. This is against the terms of the contract,” said a DDA official.
The convention centre, with a 12,000-seat conference hall, would have been the largest in India — double the size of the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, which holds that distinction. It would also have housed two five-star hotels with 850 rooms.
But with DDA unwilling to renegotiate the contract, officials in the civic agency feel the project is all but doomed. Even DLF sources confirmed the project is unlikely to be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games, as was planned.