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Reconsider airport update plans: Panel

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 27

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has called on the Government to "reconsider" its present plan on the modernisation and restructuring of the Mumbai and Delhi airports keeping in view the current domestic and international aviation scenario.

"The present plan will only create monopoly in Delhi and Mumbai. Without a proper assessment it will be myopic to conclude that there is no immediate need of Greenfield airports in Delhi and Mumbai. The Ministry has turned a blind eye to the paradigm shift that is occurring in South East Asia and East Asia where the focus is on development of green and brownfield airport together," the report that was tabled in Parliament on Monday states.

The Government has chosen a consortium headed by the GMR group to modernise Delhi airport, while the GVK group has been shortlisted to develop Mumbai airport.

The Committee has called for review of strategy despite an assurance given by the Ministry that Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be better off. "During 2006-2024 the present cash flow would be Rs 1,286.5 crore whereas if status quo is maintained then there could be a negative present value of cash flow to AAI at Rs 99.89 crore," the report quotes Government officials as saying.

The Committee has also asked the Government to reconsider the decision to close down the existing airport at Hyderabad after the new airport there is commissioned.

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