KA: Gulbarga Airport Project

The State government has approached Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd. to complete the remaining 20 per cent of work on Gulbarga airport and operate it. The work on the greenfield airport has remained suspended for more than a year following disputes among the partners of the joint venture company Regional Airport Holdings International (RAHI) Ltd. Minister for Infrastructure Development R. Roshan Baig told presspersons here on Friday that the State government, after exhausting all efforts to persuade RAHI to resume construction, had started discussion with IL&FS on completing the remaining work and operating the airport. Two of the subsidiaries of IL&FS — IL&FS Transport and IL&FS Engineering — were part of the joint venture RAHI, and differences between RAHI and IL&FS and other partners led to the suspension of the airport work. The 3,100-metre runway was completed and 50 per cent of the work on the terminal building was done when differences cropped up among the joint venture partners. Mr. Baig said RAHI did not respond to notices issued by the State government to restart the work. This forced the government to suspend the contract with RAHI and look for other players to complete the remaining work. The Minister said a high-level executive team of IL&FS would visit the Gulbarga airport site next week and study the possibility of taking over the work. Subsequently, the State would hold discussions with IL&FS and take the final decision. When asked if the State would take up the remaining work on its own if IL&FS refuses, Mr. Baig said the government would consider other alternatives after holding talks with IL&FS...

HR: Karnal Airport Project

Additional requirement of land has put the much-hyped projects of civil airport in Karnal in a limbo. Union ministry of civil aviation and Haryana government are on the verge of discreetly shelving the plan for the Karnal airport. Sources said the state government was pursuing the Centre for developing the airport in Hisar. Haryana civil aviation department officials admitted to problems in acquiring land in Karnal, but were hopeful of procuring land in Hisar. Principal secretary-cum-financial commissioner (civil aviation) R R Jowel confirmed the technical problems for land acquisition in Karnal. “We have already asked the Union government to conduct a fresh survey of the land available Hisar so that this project could be expedited. So far as Karnal is concerned, the land adjacent to the area earmarked for the civil airport belongs to private owners of one village. We cannot acquire this property till the new land acquisition policy comes out. Hence, it may delay the project in Karnal,” Jowel said. In August 2013, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced setting up of two civil airports in the state after the ministry for civil aviation had given go-ahead in July 2012. Both civil airports were to be made operational from the flying clubs in Hisar and Karnal. Clubs’ operations were expanded by merging those with Hisar Aviation Club and Pinjore Aviation Club in 1999 but the aerodromes could never double up as civil enclave. Karnal flying club has a runway about 3,000 feet-long and 150 feet-wide while the length of the runway at the Hisar aerodrome is 4,000 feet. Initially, the civil aviation ministry had plans...

DL: Aerocity Project

The Delhi Police have objected to its construction, the Home Ministry has raised a red flag over the project and the security agencies have expressed concern over the threat posed to VIP safety. Still, the construction of Aerocity project, the hospitality district near the Indira Gandhi International Airport, has been continuing undeterred for the past two years. The high-rises in the precincts of the international airport in the national Capital are growing taller even as the ministry of civil aviation and the Home Ministry are at loggerheads over the construction. The project is barely a stone’s throw from the runway and hangars of the Aviation Research Centre of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). This has triggered security concern as terrorists can target airplanes as well as the hangars while hiding in the hotels in Aerocity. The Aerocity project, which will have a dozen hotels, was passed without taking the Delhi Police and other security agencies into confidence. When the structures started heading skywards, the Delhi Police objected to the project two years ago as the rooms in the hotels were facing the runway. This brought the runway directly in the line of sight of the hotel rooms, risking the landing and take-off of airplanes. Since then, the security agencies have been suggesting ways to improve the security system but no consensus has been reached between the two parties so far. Suggestions such as installation of bio-metric system in the hotels and changing the face of the hotels with no window looking towards the runway, has been turned down by the civil aviation ministry as they would deprive the...

KA: Banglore Trident Airport Hotel Project

EIH, the Rs 1,100-crore hotel chain, plans to invest close to Rs 650 crore to set up hotels in Bangalore and Goa. The company has secured land at both the places, its Chairman P R S Oberoi said. “The debt-equity ratio of the projects will be 2:1,” Oberoi told reporters after the firm’s annual general meeting in Kolkata today. The company also plans to add 2,300 rooms in India and abroad through 10 projects in the next three-and-half years. Of the 10 hotels planned, seven will be management contracts, while two will be joint venture projects in which EIH’s investment will be to the tune of Rs 70 crore. The new hotels in Goa and Bangalore will be owned by EIH. “We will invest close to Rs 500 crore to build a 225-room luxury hotel in Bangalore spread over eight acres. We will also build a luxury hotel and villas for sale in Goa over 50 acres. We own the properties. Around 15 villas will be built for sale. We are waiting for the government’s approval, which we hope to obtain by October,” Oberoi said. “We plan to build hotels through JVs and management contracts, because owning hotels has become an expensive proposition. It costs around Rs 1.5 crore per room. So, our strategy will be to manage more hotels instead of owning them,” he added. EIH is also in talks with real estate developers and plans to sign deals with more than two. “The advantage of working with real estate developers is that they have the land bank. But we will not get into exclusive contracts with any...

BR: Patna Airport Expansion Project

The search for a location for a new airport in Bihar is finally over. But the people of Patna will have to travel about 100 km from the city to catch a flight. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has given its nod to set up the new airport in Nalanda – the home district of CM Nitish Kumar – instead of Patna. But the AAI zeroing in on Nalanda has raised the hackles of the state opposition parties. Calling the move ‘impractical’ because of the distance between the proposed location and Patna, they alleged that Nalanda had been selected to favour the CM and his home district. Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Mehboob Ali Kaiser said: ‘It takes two to three hours to reach Nalanda from Patna if there is no traffic,’ he said. ‘It will not take less than two hours even if an expressway is made to connect the capital with Nalanda.’ The party is now seeking the intervention of the Congress high command to stall the move. Senior party leader Prem Chandra Mishra said: ‘The decision is impractical. It has been taken to benefit the CM’s home district.’ He added that shifting the airport would cause problems for women and children who often travel alone. ‘What about their security? How will they reach if they have to catch a late-night flight?’ he asked. The opposition leader in the state assembly, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, said the new airport should have been located near Patna. ‘It should be set up at Maner or any other place nearby,’ he said. Nitish has denied he had a hand in...

KA: Hassan Airport Complex Project

Construction of the Hassan Greenfield Cargo Airport project has seen little progress over the past seven years. The project promoter has refused to take up the work as the State government has not acquired all the land required for the project, said the Jupiter Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd., which had bagged the work on the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) model. According to initial estimation, the land required for the project was 960 acres. Later, the company revised it to 761 acres. So far, the government has acquired and handed over 536 acres of land to the company. The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and the head of the company, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, took part in the groundbreaking ceremony. If the first phase of the work had been completed, the airport would have started functioning by 2009. Siddharth Shivappa, project in-charge (Jupiter Aviation), told The Hindu on Tuesday that the company would not pursue the project unless the remaining land was handed over. “We cannot start the work with the available land. We have to first work out the design and implement it. The fate of the project is dependant on handing over of the balance land,” he said. The promoter had earlier proposed revenue generation activities, including a golf land, golf club and activities for hospitality sector, along with the airport. The company wanted 178 acres for these activities. As the farmers wanted higher price for their land, the promoter dropped the idea. However, the company is still interested in continuing with the airport project. Sources in the district administration said that the process for acquisition of the balance land had...