UP tourism dept may get nod for loan to acquire airport land

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jan 10 2010, 04:19am hrs
Enthused by the good turnout of more than 20 reputed national and international companies, which showed a keen interest in setting up the Kushinagar international airport at the pre-bid meet in New Delhi recently, an enthused Uttar Pradesh government is contemplating giving its nod to the UP tourism departments proposal to provide it with Rs 150-crore budgetary loan for acquiring 550 acre land needed for the project. Apart from this, the government is also actively reflecting on the prospect of giving an additional 250 acres as land free of cost to the developer as a sweetener. This tract of land will be used as land parcel for developing the area.

Sources close to these developments told FE that the project is high on the state governments agenda and efforts are on to fast forward the pace of development by incorporating certain valid points raised by the companies at the pre-bid meet.

One of the important points was that if land is notified and made available, it would be easier for them to make definitive proposals for the project. It is only after this suggestion was made that the tourism departments proposal of acquiring land directly and handing it over to the developer gathered shape. And in order to do so, the department has sought a Rs 150 crore loan from the finance department.

A proposal is being mooted that the land cost be paid by the state government, which will be reimbursed by the project, said an official of the state government.

In fact, 550 acres of land required for the project has already been identified by the tourism department, out of which almost 97 acres are already in its possession. In addition to this, an additional 250 acres will be made available for the land parcels free of cost as a sweetener.

Once the state cabinet gives its approval for the loan and the request for qualification (RFQ), the project will gather pace and we will be able to float the bid, said the official. The Rs 750-crore greenfield Kushinagar international airport project, which is to be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis, is being touted as integral for the integrated development of the entire Buddhist circuit.