Visakhapatnam: The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is embarking on another foundation-stone-laying ceremony, and this time it’s the Bhogapuram Green Field Airport near Visakhapatnam.
The Bhogapuram Airport is proposed to be developed at a cost of Rs 42.1 Billion and spread over 2558 acres of land.
Bhogapuram is located 40 kilometers north-east of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and is close to the Bay of Bengal. The government had earlier given 'in-principle' approval to Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Limited (BIACL) for the establishment of the airport in Oct-2016 and had set a two-year time frame to complete the project.
The CM is expected to attend the foundation laying ceremony on the 13th of February and the hurry is to complete it before the election notification is released and if the Elections are called for in March, the election code comes into effect. The state government also wants to complete all formalities pertaining to the land acquisition and tender process by the 22nd of this month which is raising eyebrows in political and administration circles.
Tenders were called for in 2016 and the Government aided Airport Authority of India got the tender. But the state government canceled the tender and included Maintenance and Over Oiling (MRO) and called for fresh tenders. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been barred from participating in the bidding process and the Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Ltd (APADCL) had issued fresh tender barring all government agencies to participate in the bidding process.
Seven companies had shown interest in building the airport and the government has given the 22nd of this month as a deadline for them to submit their final request for proposals (RFP). Laying the foundation ceremony for the airport even before the Tenders are called for and deciding as to who is going to build airport is seen as another desperate attempt by the Chief Minister to woo the voters.