The dogged Navi Mumbai airport plan further delayed with the implementing agency Cidco for the second time today extending the deadline for submitting bids to February 13 as it received only one bid from the GVK-led Mumbai International Airport.
The second extension comes after the authority deferred the deadline for receiving bids for RFQ (request for qualification) for two weeks on January 9.
“Today we received only a single bid from GVK (which anyway has the first right of refusal being the operator of the Mumbai airport). Therefore, we have given a further extension to all the three bidders to submit their bids till February 13. This is the last extension,” a Cidco official said.
The airport project has been in the work for over a decade but has not moved ahead even now. The main hurdles being the land acquisition, which has been completed only half needed for the crucial aeronautical activities.
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), which is the nodal agency for the over Rs. 16,000- crore international airport project, had short-listed four consortia — GMR, GVK, Hiranandani groups and Tata Reality.
However, three of them – GMR Group that operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports, Hiranandani group and the Tatas — opted out of the bidding process ahead of the first deadline of January 9, citing project “risk” and “onerous” bid condition, leaving the GVK Group as the single bidder for the ambitious project which has been planned over a decade ago.
“Even after this extension, if we still get no response from others, we will refer to the project management committee headed by Maharashtra chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, which will then take a final decision,” the official said.
Last February, Cidco had invited RFQ and the deadline for submissions was extended quite a few times. It was first extended to July 30, then September 2 and October 31. Finally, after another extension, the deadline ended on December 10.
The project requires around 2,268 hectares, of which 1,160 hectares would be utilised for aeronautical purposes.