CBI sniffs irregularities in GMR-led Delhi International Airport, seeks files

Last Updated: Mon, May 13, 2019 21:20 hrs
Delhi Airport

New Delhi: Probing further into the alleged financial irregularities involving GMR Group-led Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to provide all the files related to airport firm at the 'earliest'.

The investigating agency has also asked for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the privatisation of the Delhi airport.

In its letter dated May 3, 2019, seen by IANS, the CBI said that it had become necessary to obtain the records and documents related to airport firm in the Supreme Court-monitored investigation.

"The CBI has asked for the complete file of operation, management and development agreement (OMDA) between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR since beginning till date," said a person aware of the development.

Responding to our query on the issue, a GMR Group spokesperson said, "We have not received any such communication. We are also not aware of this matter."

The previous UPA government had in 2006 awarded the contract to a GMR Group-led consortium for operation, management and development of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The initial term of the concession was 30 years extendable by a further 30 years.

Delhi International Airport (DIAL) is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group (64%), Airports Authority of India (26%) and Fraport (10%).

As part of the agreement, the private firm was allowed to commercially exploit around 240 acres of the 4,600 acres of the airport land.

While Delhi airport project is counted among the country's PPP (public-private partnership) success stories, it isn't without its share of controversies.

It is alleged that the airport company floated almost a dozen joint venture firms to lower revenue share to the government-owned AAI. As per the concession agreement, DIAL is required to share 46 per cent of its total revenue with the AAI.

The airport operator has, however, defended its decision to form JV firms maintaining that it was allowed under the OMDA.

DIAL had also come under question for cost overrun. The total capex for the airport makeover escalated to Rs 12,502 crore, up Rs 3,527 crore from the initially estimated Rs 8,975 crore.

Nirbhay Kumar may be contacted at nirbhay.k@ians.in