Global Infra majors get level playing field to bid for Noida airport

(Representative Image)
Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday sought to create a level playing field for global infrastructure majors vis-à-vis Indian companies to bid for the proposed Rs 160 billion Jewar International Airport in Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar district.

The Yogi Adityanath cabinet today cleared the proposal to do away with certain clauses in the standard bidding terms, which purportedly accorded more weight to the Indian infra companies in comparison to their foreign counterparts.

UP health minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said following the cabinet nod, the global players would now be treated at par Indian companies during the bidding process. He informed the technical and financial bidding viz. RfQ and RfP would be completed within six months.

He noted the government had tweaked bidding terms to create a level playing field so that the proposed international airport matched up to the best global standards in class.

Last month, Adityanath had pitched Jewar International Airport as a future aviation hub for entire North India. He had also underlined its utility UP and the neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana.

To be developed under public-private partnership (PPP) model, the project had been hanging fire over the last 18 years after it was first conceived in 2000 owing to regulatory and clearances hurdles.

As per the techno-economic feasibility report, the airport would comprise two runways and handle 70 million passengers and 3 million tonnes cargo annually when fully developed. Although the project needs about 5,000 hectares, the airport alone would require more than 1,300 hectares in the first phase to become operational by 2022-23.

The CM had directed officials to expedite necessary groundwork, including land acquisition and clearances for the project, although the Centre had already given its in-principle approval. The government has envisioned it as a milestone for the development of Western UP and to connect major tourist hubs of Agra, Mathura and Noida.

Sometimes back, a delegation of farmers led by the local legislator had met the CM here to apprise him of the progress with regards to land acquisition and to pledge support to the project.

The land is proposed to be acquired across 6 villages of Jewar tehsil in Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Earlier, Adityanath had even advised farmers to cooperate for the project lest it was shifted to some other state, including Haryana.

The farmers had been protesting over rates being offered for land acquisition. While, the state offered about three times the applicable circle rate, roughly corresponding to Rs 2,400 per sq mt, the farmers were adamant over getting at least 4 times the circle rate or even as high as Rs 3,600 sq mt apart from other benefits.

Besides, the government had in August 2018 allocated Rs 8 billion in the supplementary budget for land acquisition.

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