Zurich International AG to build mega airport at Jewar near Delhi
The Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) on Friday selected Zurich International AG as the concessionaire for developing the Jewar airport, Gautam Budh Nagar, billed to be the biggest airport in India upon completion.
Four bidders - Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), Zurich International AG, Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holdings Limited and Adani Enterprise Limited - had applied for the project.
Watch | Zurich International AG to build mega airport in Jewar
Zurich International offered the highest bid of ₹400.97 per passenger against Adani’s bid of ₹360 that was second highest. Other two companies IGI New Delhi airport concessionaire DIAL offered ₹351 per passenger while Anchorage offered ₹205 per passenger.
“Zurich International has been selected as a successful company as it offered the best price. Now the project would go to Project monitoring and implementation committee that will meet on December 2 for required paperwork and then UP cabinet will complete the process. Zurich International will soon start work at site after completion of formalities. It is a historic day as it will boost growth in this region,” said Arun Vir Singh CEO of NIAL.
Zurich International had developed Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International airport in partnership with other companies and exited from the project in 2017. It has developed eight airports in Latin America and one in Zurich.
“We are happy to work in Uttar Pradesh as this region has a huge potential. This region has infrastructure, traffic and big catchment area,” said Daniel Bircher CEO of Zurich Airport.
The airport project that was meant to boost growth in the state, and especially western Uttar Pradesh, got stuck in red tape and bureaucratic rigmarole for many years, and most residents of Gautam Budh Nagar had given up hope of it ever becoming a reality.
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government formed the Noida International Airport Limited in September 25 last year to solely look after the airport project.
“We have completed the paperwork related to this project as per the timelines fixed to ensure that every process is completed exactly as stipulated. Be it land acquisition or getting clearances or the issuance of bid or selection of bidder, every single thing has happened as per the timelines fixed. Now, the work on this project will also start as per the fixed time frame,” Shailendra Bhatia, nodal officer, NIAL, said.
In 2001, then chief minister Rajnath Singh had proposed to build a greenfield Taj international airport and aviation hub (TIAH) in Jewar with an aim to boost local economy and create jobs by setting up industries near the civil aviation hub. However, the project did not see any development till 2009. In 2010, then UP chief minister Mayawati took up the project and got site clearances and approvals from the ministry of defence. But nothing happened at the site and the project continued to remain only on paper.
In 2012, the UPA-led government at the Centre said that an airport cannot come up within 150km of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. In 2013, then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav shifted the project to Agra, 200km from the IGI airport.
In 2014, Dr Mahesh Sharma, BJP leader and Gautam Budh Nagar MP, promised to revive the project in Jewar.
In 2015, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed his willingness to develop the project and the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (Yeida) reserved 5,000 acres for it.
In 2016, both the state and Central governments pledged support to the project and put the project on the fast-track.