CPM demands probe into DIAL land scam

Cites CAG statement in House

Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP K Balagopal on Monday alleged that the government, including the prime minister, was aware of the  malpractices in development of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. 

He cited the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) statement in Parliament which has hinted that the government is favouring private developers at the cost of the people. The MP demanded probe by the central agency in the matter. 

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) project carried out by Delhi International Airport Limited(DIAL),  a joint venture company with majority stakes of JV Consortium, has come under the cloud after  the CAG held Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India Limited responsible for favouring the JV partner. 

It pointed to violations of provisions of Operation Management and Development Agreement in favour of JV Partner.

Addressing a conference, he said that the government revealed in Parliament during a debate on the issue that DIAL collected over Rs 1481 crore during the period from March 1, 2009 to June 1, 201.  

Balagopal said, despite a ruling of the Supreme Court which made Airport Development Fee illegal, and the issue being raised in Parliament --MPs termed it a fraud—the aviation ministry argued in favour of the private developer.

He said some airliners have discontinued their flights to Delhi airport due to high charges.

Balagopal said he wrote to the Prime Minister last August about all the irregularities, including illegal Development Fee, Cost overrun, Escalated Estimates and Unilateral pricing decisions. 

“I demanded recovery of the Development Fee collected by DAIL. I also asked to look into the functioning of all PPP airports in the country,” he said.

“Astonishingly, the UPA government took a stand that helped the private developer.

Instead of recovering the money, the government came out with Draft Rules enabling the private developer to collect user fee,” alleged the CPM leader, adding that he wrote again to the PM and Civil Aviation Ministry challenging the move. 

“Now, all the points raised by us are vindicated by the CAG’s report. It further proves that there is a criminal conspiracy from the part of the government to help the private developer. We demand a thorough probe by a federal agency into the issue,” Balagopal said.

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