RITES has been appointed as the new consultant for expansion and modernisation of Naini-Saini airport in the hilly Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.
RITES will now prepare a fresh DPR of the airport project which will be expanded for the landing of ATR 42 aircraft, top officials on Monday said.
The move follows the government’s decision to cancel its agreement with Stup, a company which had earlier been appointed as consultant.
The government-owned Uttarakhand State Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (USIDCL), which is the nodal agency for the development of the airport, had recently decided to invite fresh bids to appoint the consultant. Prior to it, USIDCL had appointed Mumbai-based Stup as the consultant and agreed to payRs 3.51 crore as the consultancy fees as being demanded by the firm.
Stup backed out after the government tried to renegotiate on the consultancy fees. After the consultant backed out, the government cancelled the agreement also. RITES will charge a consultancy fee ofRs 1.46 crore.
An investment of Rs 56 core is proposed for expanding and strengthening the runway, upgrading other related operational infrastructure and terminal facilities at the Naini Saini airport, which had not been operational for years now. The official said the airport might experience a cost overrun due to the high inflation in the country.
The USIDCL invited bids in 2008 for hiring a consultant but the process hit roadblock on technical grounds. After canceling bids twice, Stup was chosen as the new consultant last year when fresh bids were invited.
“Actually the process of the construction of Naini-Saini airport began in 2002-03 but due to various factors it has failed to take off,” said the official.
News Source: Business Standard