The GMR group, Tata Realty and Hiranandani Group-Zurich Airport consortium had earlier indicated they would not participate in the bids, citing project challenges and onerous bid conditions. The companies had sought relaxation to the bid conditions and it was not known whether CIDCO would accept the demands, given the tepid response to the bids. In their submission to the government last month, GMR group pointed out challenges in pre-development work, delay in land acquisition and rehabilitation, absence of stage-two environmental clearance as key concerns. GMR and Tata Realty also raised issues regarding conflict of interest in award of pre-development work. Hiranandani Group had said it was unable to participate due to concerns raised by the consortium partner, Zurich Airport.
Last week Xavier Huillard, chief executive of European construction group Vinci, which is partnering Tata Realty, told Reuters that the company would submit the bid in the coming weeks. Aviation expert Hormuz Mama said: “Navi Mumbai airport is an enormously complex project and that is why companies are not so eager to bid for it.”
Costs and time overruns are also likely given the challenges in site preparation, he added. Airport construction will only begin after the completion of pre-development and site preparation. These works — which include ground levelling, flattening or cutting of hills and hillocks, clearing of green patches and course correction of rivers — will take two years to complete.