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eGoM decision on airports revamp was wrong: CPI(M)

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The controversial modernisation process of Delhi and Mumbai airports today figured in the Rajya Sabha with CPI(M) leader Dipankar Mukherjee saying the empowered group of ministers (eGoM) was not authorised to take the decision without Parliament approval.

The eGoM headed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee went beyond its brief and changed the eligibility criteria mid-way, he said during a short discussion.

Mr Mukherjee said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) could have restructured and modernised Delhi and Mumbai airports, but was prevented by the ministry of civil aviation over several years.

''The AAI has the expertise and Rs 3,000 crore in cash reserves.

It can raise further resources from financial institutions if required. But AAI employees were not given a chance to make the country's busiest airports world-class.'' He was initiating a discussion on procedure followed by the government for giving contracts to GMR-led consortium of private companies for Delhi airport and GVK-led grouping for Mumbai airport.

Mr Mukherjee was supported by Mr Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United).

Mr Jaiprakash Agarwal of the Congress said Delhi and Mumbai are gateways to India and deserve airports of international standards.

If the country has to emerge as a global superpower, then the modernisation process should be speeded up.

Mr Tariq Anwar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said airports infrastructure was imperative for healthy economic growth.

Many new private airlines were coming up and thousand of train travellers were shifting to air travel, he added.

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