The fate of two new airports in Gulbarga and Shimoga in Karnataka hangs in the balance as the state government has sent out “show cause” notice to the consortia led by Maytas Infrastructure, which is mired in controversy following its links to B. Ramalinga Raju, disgraced and deposed chairman of fraud-mauled Satyam Computer Services.
“Government has serious apprehension with respect to the financial closure of the airport projects that the lead member’s ability to undertake further development activities of the airport project,” the Karnataka Government said in a letter to Maytas Infra.
The consortium has been asked to reply to the “show cause” within ten days that end on February 9 to explain “as to why the government should not take further action may be deemed fit including termination of the project development agreement.”
“We are hoping that Maytas Infra steps out of these consortia itself so that other partners could take the projects ahead,” a senior official of the Karnataka government told HT on condition of anonymity.
The two airports are estimated to cost Rs. 110 crore each. Maytas also has a raft of orders worth more than Rs 15,000 crore ranging from the Hyderabad Metro Rail to the Machlipatnam deepwater port. The fate of all such projects is now uncertain. Maharashtra has already snapped Maytas deals worth Rs. 481 crore.
The Principal Secretary of Karnataka government’s Infrastructure Development Department said in the letter, in possession of Hindustan Times, that though the PDA was executed in April last year, “no intimation towards financial closure was sent to the government till late December.”
Curiously, Maytas Infra Assets Limited, which is not a consortium partner, sent a letter to the state government on December 22 sating that “certain development activities were being undertaken” and demanded “financial assistance” from the government itself to execute project.