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Relook at bids for airports

THE GOVERNMENT will not scrap the Delhi-Mumbai airport modernisation plan, though it was open to re-evaluation of the bids already submitted.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 01:36 IST
PTI
PTI
PTI

No delay in revamp but experts will re-evaluate all six bids

THE GOVERNMENT will not scrap the Delhi-Mumbai airport modernisation plan, though it was open to re-evaluation of the bids already submitted.

Highly placed sources said on Wednesday the process could be delayed if the government decided to undertake "re-evaluation or rectification" of the bids, but there was no question of the entire process being scrapped.

They said the civil aviation sector needed a focus and direction at this moment and a lot of it depended on the modernisation of the two airports, which together handle almost half of the country's air traffic.

However, sources made it clear that in case the government decided to go in for re-evaluation of the bids, only contentious issues would be gone through.

To questions on the "conflict of interest" alleged between the officially-appointed consultants and certain bidders, the sources said the Attorney General had already given his views on the issue and there was no violation as pointed out.

Various sections including the Left parties have alleged that consultants ABN Amro, AirPlan and Mangaldass & Shroff had certain bidders as their clients.

The sources said the Airports Authority of India during the erstwhile NDA regime had appointed these consultants and some of the AAI officials were now questioning the bid process. They said the government appointed Delhi Metro chief E. Sreedharan, "a man of integrity and infrastructure", to technically evaluate the bids and suggest ways and means to go ahead. Sreedharan will evaluate the valuation already done.

The consortia led by Reliance and GMR groups reportedly emerged as the top runners in the bidding process, meanwhile, are understood to have scored very poorly in an assessment by the Inter-Ministerial Group on aspects related to employee intergration and major property development.

Both bidders 'B' (GMR) and 'E' (Reliance) ranked a poor fourth and third when it came to "proportion of AAI staff targeted for integration" for Delhi and Mumbai airports, respectively.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 01:36 IST