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New committee for airports' revamp

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December 29, 2005 11:44 IST
The government has set up a three-member committee to help a committee of secretaries, set up last week to look into the privatisation and modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports, take a final view.

The new committee consists of Delhi Metro Railway Corporation chairman E Sreedharan, director-general of Civil Aviation Surinder Singh and Railway Board member (finance) R Sivadasan.

The CoS, headed by cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi, is examining the bids of six private consortia that are keen to execute the project. The committee was given two weeks to submit its report.

Airport upgrade mired in controversy

It was set up after sharply divergent views emerged within an inter-ministerial group entrusted with the task, forcing an empowered group of ministers, set up for the projects, to refer the matter to a new committee.

Besides the cabinet secretary, the other members of the CoS are secretaries to the ministries of civil aviation, economic affairs and law, and member-secretary of the Planning Commission.

The committee has been asked to advise the EGoM, headed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on whether the overall process was in conformity with the norms for shortlisting and final selection of bidders, or suggest alternatives.

The government has steadfastly refused to invite fresh bids, saying that it does not want any more delay as the need to improve aviation infrastructure is paramount. The EGoM was widely expected to choose the winning technical bids on December 5.

BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi