Navi Mumbai airport take-off on stand-by till May 2020

The launch date of Navi Mumbai airport has now been pushed to May 2020. 

The project monitoring and implementation committee (PMIC) for the Navi Mumbai airport, chaired by Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya, took the decision at a recent meeting, after bidders raised concerns over an unrealistic construction time frame. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had laid down an ambitious target of December 2019 for the completion of first phase of the airport, which would have an annual capacity of 10 million passengers.

The state-run City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), which is the nodal agency for the airport project, has extended the date for submission of request for proposal (RFP) for the Rs 16,000-crore project to January 9 from November 7 as bidders sought more time.

The RFP submission date had been extended earlier from October to November to facilitate Hiranandani Developers and its consortium partner Zurich Airport to submit its RFP. Other qualified bidders included GMR Delhi, the GVK-led Mumbai International Airport, MIA Infrastructure of France and Tata Realty.

A Cidco official told Business Standard, “The commercial operation date (COD) is in May 2020. However, the successful bidder will be asked to make the airport operational by December 2019.”

The official admitted Cidco had earlier planned to award the contract by December 2016, but because of the time sought by qualified bidders, the revised time schedule would be decided later.

The official said the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in January 2016 had rejected security clearance for the Hiranandani-Zurich consortium, which was subsequently barred from submitting the RFP. However, the MHA, in August this year, gave it security clearance, thus allowing it to submit the RFP.

Actual work on airport construction will only begin with the completion of pre-development and site preparation. These works, which include levelling of ground, flattening or cutting of hills and hillocks and clearing of green patches, will take two years to complete.

Cidco has already kicked off the pre-development works which will be completed in a phased manner.

The bidders have pointed out that construction work cannot begin immediately after land refill, and that some time would need before construction can start. While Cidco would award the contract, the land will be transferred to the project developer after the signing of concession agreement.


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