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India : LEGAL disputes land in KANNUR AIRPORT PROJECT.

The airport project at the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL), which has witnessed investment attention from many non-resident Indians (NRIs), has trapped in legal disputes with the lowest bidder for the consultancy had appealed to the Kerala High Court opposing the approval of the consultancy agreement to a suspected blacklisted company.

One of the partners of the conglomerate of the lowest bidder - Cochin s Mir Projects and Consultants has asked for the termination of the contract, and has stated that the KIAL had granted the consultancy contract to a group of STUP Consultants and Darashaw breaching the terms and conditions of the tender under which applicants in the consultancy bid must not be blacklisted.

The Mir Projects in its appeal to the Kerala High has claimed that STUP was banned by Uttarakhand State Infrastructure Development Corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike or BBMP as well as the Rajkot Municipal Corporation because of several defects in their project implementations. Strangely, the KIAL s inking of the consultancy contract with STUP and Mir Projects filling of the petition happened on the same day.

STUP as an integrated airport project consultant is authorized to support KIAL in the development of the greenfield airport project from the design to functional phase. The consultant will have to offer consultative services on plan and technical, financial, legal as well as operational parts.

The Mir Projects has also objected to the contract on financial reason. The petitioner has alleged that their offered amount was Rs35 million below the STUP s quotation. The high court has sent notices to the state government as well as to the KIAL and has stated that the next hearing of the case will be on Sept. 6.

The legal row might reschedule the work on the airport project, which has been delayed for more than twenty years now. The government s preparation on the provisional commissioning of the airport was to happen within 2014. Kannur will be the fourth international airport of Kerala. The development of airport project is being done in a private-public partnership format in line with the successful Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL). The state Government will have 26% stake, whilst 23% will go to the state-run entities and 2% to the government supported companies.

The remaining stake is likely to be offered to the institutional investors, companies, cooperative societies/banks, NRIs plus residents. Encouraged by the achievement of the first Greenfield airport at Cochin, the NRIs had wanted more allocations in the KIAL.

The Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured that he will mull over the demand during the share allotment. The firm hopes finishing the allotment of equity by next March. KIAL will own Rs10 billion worth of authorized capital. At first it will lift Rs7.84 billion via subscriptions.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 3, 2012
Words:475
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