Navi Mumbai Airport: Bombay High Court refuses stay on bidding process

The court, however, observed, “Finalisation of bid and issuance of work order in respect of bid in question shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition."

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | Mumbai | Updated: June 17, 2016 1:55:31 am

Construction of the much-awaited Navi Mumbai Airport may now be on course, with the Bombay High Court having recently refused to grant interim relief to a company that had sought a stay on the entire bidding process relating to land development for the airport. Its technical bid was earlier rejected by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).

Hearing the matter, a bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice M S Karnik said, “Prima facie, it appears that the petitioner was unsuccessful in the technical bid. As a result, we are not inclined to pass the interim order to stay the entire bidding process at this stage.” The bid related to cutting of a hill in the area to facilitate construction of the airport.

The court, however, observed, “Finalisation of bid and issuance of work order in respect of bid in question shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition.” The HC has granted time to the petitioners to amend its petition so they can include a prayer to challenge the rejection of the technical bid by CIDCO. According to sources, the process to approve the bid for cutting the Ulwe Hill was initiated on Wednesday. The cost of this work pertaining to land development for Navi Mumbai Airport is close to Rs 500 crore.

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According to the petition, CIDCO had violated tender conditions by not opening the company’s financial bid despite the fact that it had qualified for the bid. The petitioner had sought that CIDCO be prevented from holding a meeting on June 15, for awarding the contract to any bidder.

Advocate G S Hedge, appearing for CIDCO, argued that the company’s bid had never technically qualified. “The bid of the company was earlier rejected as it did not qualify technically. After that a second extension was granted. While the company submitted its clarifications, it was not found in conformity with the terms of the tender document. The technical evaluation committee therefore rejected the technical bid of the petitioner,” he said.

The airport site is spread over 1,160 hectares accommodating two parallel runways for simultaneous and independent operations with provision of full-length taxi ways on either side of the runways. The Navi Mumbai Airport is proposed to be developed through public private participation (PPP) mode. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has given approval for development of the greenfield airport at Navi Mumbai.

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