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Left puts spokes on airports' revamp plan

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that privatisation cannot be allowed in the garb of modernisation.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 16:19 IST

The Left parties have suggested that the Government should do away with the bidding process involved in the restructuring and modernisation process of the Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Theyemphasised that there was an urgency in modernising these airports in view of the2010 Commonwealth Games.

The Left parties have warned that there might be conflict of interests between two short-listed bidders and this might stall the process.

"Privatisation cannot be allowed in the garb of modernisation, which is needed to decongest the two busy airports," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Observing that the concerns raised by the Left would be taken into account by the empowered Group of Ministers on the issue, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said "there is an urgency to complete the modernisation of these two airports. Having regard to the urgency, it was decided that the Government may take a suitable decision."

The Left parties have claimed that there was "solid ground" for the government to dismantle the process, alleging that financial consultant ABN-Amro was the "joint lead arranger" for short-listed bidders GMR and Reliance, while a partner in the legal consultant firm Amarchand Mangaldass, Shroff & Company was once a member of the Reliance Board.

They have asked the government to take note of the Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendations to construct two world class airports as greenfield projects and develop the existing ones through Airports Authority of India.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 12:40 IST