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Chinese Co questions AAI's decision to exclude it on security ground

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) Chinese company Shenzhen CIMC-Tianda Airport Support (SCTAS) has challenged the alleged decision of the Centre and the AAI before the Delhi High Court to exclude it from the tender bids for the supply of aero-bridges on the ground of security threat to the country.

After the preliminary arguments the High Court issued notices to the Centre through the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Aiport Authority of India (AAI) to file their replies to the allegations.

Senior Counsel Sandeep Sethi appearing for the SCTAS argued that the AAI was playing a foul game to knock it out from the Rs 79 crore global tender bid for the supply of 42 passenger boarding bridges (PBB) alleging that the Chinese infrastructure company would be a security threat to the country in the high security zones--Airports.

The company has already supplied PBBs for various international airports in Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore, Mr Sethi submitted.

While there has been no formal communication with regard to its disqualification, the SCTAS has based its petition on ''genuine apprehension and pursuant to internal talks and the biased attitude" of AAI towards the Spanish bidder,'' the petition said.

This was not only contrary to the tender conditions, but also against the policy which did not bar foreign investments in India especially from China, said Mr Sethi during the arguments.

Questioning the transparency in the tendering proceds, the company, which produces 200 PBB units per year, said the government's action of hand picking the bidder of its choice would drive away all the foreign players in the infrastructure arena.

Besides, the AAI was also in the process of increasing the budget to Rs 114 crore against Rs 79 crore announced at the time of announcement of eligibility criteria to match the expected price quoted by the Spanish company, Mr Sethi alleged.

The AAI had invited global tenders for the supply of 42 units of PBB with electro-mechanical and hydraulic drive in April 2005.

However, after four months of technical analysis only two bidders - SCTAS and Thyssen Krupp of Spain - were found technically qualified.

UNI PAT SBJ KP1626

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