Lashing down on the Central government in a draft report, the office of the Comtroller and Auditor General (CAG) has claimed that the civil aviation ministry did not monitor the development project of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) properly which resulted in the delay in completing the work and made the privately-operated Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) earn undue benefit to the tune of around Rs5,880 crore.
The development work for the CSIA was supposed to have been over in 2010.
When contacted, a MIAL spokesperson refused to comment on the CAG report. However, sources in MIAL claim that the government’s inability in clearing the slum around the airport is behind the cause of delay.
The draft report, which is yet to be tabled in Parliament, alleges that the ministry did not take any action against MIAL despite the three-year delay in the project. The delay escalated the project cost by over Rs5,000 crore. The cost escalation has reportedly led to levying of additional airport charges on passengers.
Earlier this year MIAL had cancelled its contract with Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) and sought compensation of about Rs276 crore after the latter failed to complete the slum development project on time. The matter is now under litigation.
MIAL, which has GVK Powers and Infrastructure as its lead partner, was allotted the airport operation for a period of 30 years with a further first-right-to-refusal for another 30 years. The state-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) is also a partner in the project.