Friday, October 29, 2004

BIAL pleads govt. for nod

BIAL asks govt to speed up nod for airport
Deccan Herald

Till now, the State Government may have brushed aside complaints about prolonged delays in the international airport project from the Siemens-led consortium as not being “officially conveyed to either the Ministers or to the bureaucrats.” Not any longer.

Government sources said that officials from the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) met with senior bureaucrats on Thursday evening to formally lodge their grievances about the continued delay in the State’s approval for the project.
Construction of the ambitious Rs 1,300 crore greenfield airport project was scheduled to start by November after the Central Government approved the concession agreement in July.

However, the State Support Agreement and the Land Lease Agreement - two key finalisations - are yet to be concluded till today. Both are to be concluded by the State Government, and the partners in the project - Siemens, in particular - have expressed their concern over the delay.

BIAL officials met up with Principal Secretary (Infrastructure Development) Vinay Kumar to air their grievances. Sources said the officials “shared their anxiety about how difficult it will be to implement the project if the project is further delayed.”

Pact in two weeks?
“The matter has been with the Finance Department for two months now. We are willing to take it to the Cabinet the minute Finance Department approves it. But as it involves Rs 350 crore in State support, it needs serious thinking. But we are still on track to finalise financial closure by December,” said Mr Kumar, when contacted.
Finance Department sources said they expected the State Support agreement to be finalised in two weeks.


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