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Kushinagar international airport project to get wings

The airport, with a runway of 3,200 metres, is estimated to serve 2,50,000 tourists annually

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

The much-awaited project in Uttar Pradesh will get a fresh lease of life when the financial bid document is floated next week.

The project, likely to cost Rs 354 crore under public-private partnership (PPP) model, has been hanging fire for the last several years.

The state Cabinet headed by Chief Minister cleared the project, to be built under design build finance operate transfer (DBFOT) basis, on Thursday. The Cabinet also vetted and approved the final bid document.

“The document is likely to be floated on Monday, and the eight bidders who had qualified the preliminary bid process would be given time until February 17 to submit financial bids,” an official source told Business Standard.

The bidders, who had qualified technical bid process undertaken in March 2013, included GMR, Essel, Gammon India, Shreya Infrastructure and Transstroy.

Last November, the union civil aviation ministry had notified user development fee (UDF) for the airport. The prospective developer would be allowed to charge UDF of Rs 1,300 and Rs 200 from international and domestic tourists, respectively.

The airport, with a runway of 3,200 metres, is estimated to serve about 2,50,000 tourists annually.

It would be India’s first airport wherein the Centre had given in-principle approval for viability gap funding (VGF) of 20 per cent. The state government has committed additional 20 per cent grant. Hence, the total permissible VGF grant is 40 per cent of the project cost, which comes to about Rs 170 crore.

An old airstrip, spanning 97 acres is present in Kushinagar, which handles small aircraft.

According to a study, about 3,15,000 international tourists come to Kushinagar every year to visit the Buddhist monument. The state has acquired the land required for the project, which would span over 550 acres.

First Published: Fri, January 17 2014. 21:40 IST
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