Published On : Wed, Jan 3rd, 2018

Move to privatise Nagpur Airport sees tardy progress

Nagpur: The process for privatisation of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur is going on at snail’s pace. The process was initiated six years ago but even after such a long time, the authorities have not found a “Muhurth” to make the privatisation a reality. It is being said that the process is in final stage, but no date has been fixed as yet for the all-important decision, according to media reports.

Now the million dollar question is: Will the privatisation of the international airport, run by Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC), see the light even in New Year, too?

No tenders in six years:
According to media reports, the development of the airport is included in Mihan Project. It was decided to float tenders for ensuring grand development of Nagpur’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in view of ambitious Mihan Project. Earlier, the Democratic Front (Congress-NCP) Government could not float tenders for five years. After the BJP came to power in State, the tender was floated in the beginning of 2016. The airport was handed over to State Government on August 9, 2009. It simply means, no tenders were floated in six years till August 7, 2015. 12 private companies were competing with each other for grabbing the tender. Of the 12 companies, Tata Reality, GMR Infra, GVK, PNC Infratech, and Essel Infra emerged eligible. But thereafter the process lost the steam, the media reports said.

The reports further said that the MADC has forwarded the Draft Concession Agreement of the five companies and Revenue Proposal (RFP) to State Government for approval. Next Cabinet meeting could accord sanction to the proposal. After the sanction, these documents will be given to the five eligible companies. The company that guarantees maximum revenue generation will be given the responsibility of development of the airport. If the privatisation takes place in future, the company will hold the 74 percent share while the share of state and Central governments will be 13 percent each.

The tender receiving company has to invest Rs 1982 crore for erecting new airport. In the first stage of Rs 1420 crore investment, development of two parallel runways, cargo and terminal buildings as well as various MROs have been included. The next three stages will be of Rs 540 crore, the media reports said.