Contract cancelled, fresh tenders invited to complete airport project : The Tribune India

Contract cancelled, fresh tenders invited to complete airport project

One of the two contractors defaulted, work to be completed by June

Contract cancelled, fresh tenders invited to complete airport project

Work in progress at the upcoming international airport in Halwara, Ludhiana. Himanshu Mahajan

Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, February 4

In a bid to further accelerate the pace of the ongoing work on the upcoming international airport at Halwara here, the contract of one of the two construction agencies has been cancelled and fresh tenders have been called to allot the remaining work, the government has confirmed.

The cancellation was ordered by the Public Works Department (PWD), which is executing the project work, after the contractor refused to complete the remaining allied work, officials have revealed.

To avoid any further delay in completing the project, which had already missed several deadlines following several halts since its inception, the PWD has also issued a fresh tender of the remaining work involving construction of internal roads, estate public health services and campus lighting of the interim airport terminal building at an estimated cost of Rs 15.87 crore. While February 16 has been fixed as the last date for submission of bids, the work will be allotted to the most eligible bidder after opening the bids on February 17.

Project report

Total area: 161.28 acres | Terminal area: 2,000 sq m | Awarded cost: Rs 3,876.65 lakh

Boundary wall, approach road cost: Rs 309.33 crore |

Missed deadlines: January and June 2022 | Fresh deadline: June 30

Meanwhile, the ongoing work to construct an interim terminal building has further picked up pace almost two-and-a-half months after it resumed and has touched almost one-third mark till date. The work had resumed on November 17 last after the state government had made available Rs 50-crore corpus for the project.

A senior government functionary told The Tribune, here on Saturday that the remaining work to build the new international airport has been taken up on a war-footing and all stops have been pulled to complete the ambitious project at the earliest. He said flight operations from the new terminal building had been targeted to begin any time before June 30 before which the new international airport will be made operational by completing the construction work and finalising the statutory compliance for operational purposes.

“The Civil Aviation Department has begun the process to launch the flight operations by the time a new airport comes up,” the functionary said, while asserting that both terminal building and internal roads will be built before June 30.

Of the total allocation of Rs 50 crore by the state government, a sum of Rs 12.5 crore had already been transferred while the total requirement estimated so far was of Rs 45 crore.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had recently visited the site and had directed the officers concerned to complete the ongoing work within three months. “We have put the work on a fast- track mode and no delay will be tolerated at any cost,” the CM asserted, while adding that there was no dearth of funds.

Pertinently, the construction of interim terminal building and allied works at the cost of Rs 47 crore had been stalled in March last after the contractors, who had been awarded the work, had refused to carry on the ambitious project following non-payment of their dues.

It was in November last that the state government had formally taken over the pending work to build the international airport coming up at the Air Force Station in Halwara, which is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the Indian Air Force (IAF), close to Ludhiana.

For the purpose, the Finance Department has released a sum of Rs 30 crore while the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) through the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has undertaken to bear the expenditure of Rs 20 crore.

MP hails decision

Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora, who had been pressing hard for the early completion of the project, has hailed the government’s decision and has directed the authorities concerned to expedite the remaining work for its early completion. “The project is close to my heart and our government will leave no stone unturned to make the airport operational within the next few months,” asserted Arora, after visiting the project site.

Airport to take off soon: CM

“We are committed to start operations at the new international airport in Halwara by mid-this year and have taken up the project on a priority basis to ensure its completion within the minimum possible time. No dearth of funds will come in the way of the project,” CM Bhagwant Mann said.

Turn of events

  • November 9, 2022: Punjab Government decides to take up the project and release Rs 50 crore for remaining work.
  • Nov 17, 2022: Work resumes.
  • May 2022: State government approached AAI to bear the cost of the remaining work after GLADA failed to release funds.
  • March 2022: Both contractors stopped work for want of payments.
  • Dec 9, 2021: Work awarded to construct interim airport terminal at Rs 2,272.5 lakh.
  • Nov 8, 2021: Work of internal roads & allied infra awarded at Rs 1,604.15L.
  • Oct 22, 2021: AAI accorded formal nod to construct new interim terminal building at Rs 4,691.12 lakh.
  • Oct 26, 2021: Punjab Civil Aviation Secretary issued administrative approval for release of Rs 4,290.42 lakh through GLADA.

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