Ram Charan’s Turbo Megha to bag Dagadarthi airport works?
THE HANS INDIA |
Sep 10,2017 , 11:30 PM IST
Nellore: A top official from the state government had announced its inability to take up the much-awaited Greenfield airport at Dagadarthi some time ago. People believed it and there were some protests too on the decision. But, amusingly, the issue came up within a couple of months at state government level where an aviation group had moved proposals to bag the development works that are now at approval level.
Now, analysts opine that the state government had played a mind game pretending to shelve Dagadarthi airport, but works of the project have reportedly been okayed to Turbo Megha group owned by Tollywood actor Ram Charan. Sources in the state government said the group bagged the works for development keeping good revenue from cargo business in view. It may be recalled that Turbo Megha group runs Truejet Airlines.
- The aviation company submitted the highest bid which would naturally be considered by the state government
- Principal Secretary of Infrastructure and Investments Ajay Jain says the proposals have been placed before the Cabinet for final approval
- Interestingly, Jain had announced in May that the project would be shelved due to budget constraints as the farmers were demanding huge compensation for lands
Principal Secretary of Infrastructure and Investments Ajay Jain had said here on May 18 that they had dropped the proposal and considering it in some other district owing to local issues saying there was no cooperation from the local farmers who demanded huge compensation for lands. Hence, he said, they had dropped the idea due to budget constraints even though around Rs. 20 crore was spent on land acquisition process.
“The highest bidder was the Turbo Megha group and the proposals were placed before the Cabinet for approval. The concerned Minister will announce the decision according to the government’s plans,” said Ajay Jain talking to the Hans India.
In fact, Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Limited (BIACL) had received only two bids in which Ram Charan’s group was one among them which offered the highest amount. There would be no hurdles for approvals to the group since it was highest bidder, according to sources.
“Why the senior officials of the state government had initially announced shelving the airport proposals and then proceeded with the bids? It seems some kind of ‘management’ at government level transpired which was in favour of a group related to Pawan Kalyan. How can we expect integrity from the Government,” said a senior leader from the YSR Congress.
Andhra Pradesh's Infrastructure and Investment Department wrote to Airports Authority of India (AAI) seeking development of a new airport at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district in Dec 2014 and it was changed to Dagadarthi subsequently. In January 2016, Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation invited requests for selection of developers for a low cost greenfield airport model at Dagadarthi.
The union ministry of Civil Aviation had accorded approval for development of the airport, committee on Greenfield airports headed by the Secretary, GoI, announced the decision in the same year. In January this year, the state government had considered for changing the proposed site and declared shelving the project in May.
But, the hush-hush process still continued and bids were filed and Turbo Megha aviation group had won the tender process submitting the highest bid which would invest above Rs. 200 crore for development of the airport.
By P V Prasad