BIAL backtracks from earlier claims, March opening doubtful

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Bangalore, Mar 12 (UNI) Promoters of Bengaluru International Airport today backtracked from their statement that operations would begin on March 30 as scheduled and said it would happen only after Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) took the final decision.

Responding to media reports that opening of the Rs 2,470 crore greenfield airport would be delayed, BIAL CEO Albert Brunner said, ''We are currently in discussions with The MoCA. We are awaiting the final statement from the Ministry,'' he said.

BIAL had said last night said commercial operations would begin on March 30 as scheduled.

According to Civilian Aviation officials the airport was yet to install the important navigational radar which would be done only a week before the start.

Some works on the runway were also still pending. Extra work might take nearly a month, official said.

The consortium including Siemens Project Ventures, Unique Zurich Airports and L and T holds 74 per cent stake with the balance in the hands of the Karnataka and Union Governments.

UNI RS GM VD ND2218

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