The company that redeveloped Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) is set to bag the contract to build the much-delayed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), which will serve as a second airport for the megapolis to ease congestion and cater to surging demand. The contract will be finally awarded two decades after the state government first mooted the project.
On Monday, the GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) won the bid to develop the Rs16,000-crore airport, beating the GMR Group, which operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports.
MIAL, which runs CSIA and Bangalore airport, offered a revenue share of 12.60% to the government as compared to GMR’s bid of 10.44%, according to a statement issued by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).
Among the final four consortiums in the fray, only MIAL and GMR had submitted financial bids. The other two — Tata-MIA and Hiranandani-Zurich airports — had opted out of the race even before the bid envelopes were opened on Monday.
“The bidding parameter was a percentage share of gross revenue offered to CIDCO. Prima facie, since GVK is the highest bidder, the project will be awarded to them,” said Mohan Ninawe, public relations officer, CIDCO.
“It is a matter of immense pride for MIAL and GVK to have won the bid for building, developing and operating the greenfield Navi Mumbai International Airport project,” said GVK Reddy, executive chairman of MIAL and founder chairman and managing director of GVK. “This is further testimony to our commitment that was ably demonstrated in the making of the iconic Terminal 2 (T2), along with the creation of efficient airside operations in a severely constrained Mumbai airport.”
A formal agreement is expected to be inked in a month’s time, after an approval from the Maharashtra cabinet.
The new airport, first proposed in 1997 and approved by the government in 2007, has been delayed by problems in buying land and in gaining necessary government permissions such as environmental clearance.
The first phase of the airport is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be able to handle 10 million passengers annually, Ninawe said. The new airport is expected to handle 60 million passengers in 2030 when it is expected operate at full capacity.
The bidding process for the project was as uneasy as the two-decade-long journey from the drawing boards to the take-off path. Three out of the four shortlisted bidders had pulled out of the project at one stage, forcing CIDCO to extend deadlines twice, added officials.
CIDCO, the implementing agency, has already completed some of the pre-construction work – cutting hills near Ulwe and levelling of surface in the airport’s core area – at a cost of around Rs1,600 crore. Other major work comprises a Rs100-crore river diversion project and a Rs1,500-crore shifting of power lines project.