Based on the company’s experience of constructing airport projects in Shirdi, Mangaluru, Belgaum and elsewhere, Vilas K Birari, Chairman & Managing Director, Harsh Constructions, shares his views on the airports sector and expected opportunitieswith SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
At present, how do you view the availability of funds for project execution?
AAI is an adequately funded body. It is prompt in making payments to contractors on the submission of running bills.
How do you view the construction opportunities in the sector for the next five years?
There is a huge opportunity in this sector. Apart from expansion and modernisation of existing airports, the Government has announced the construction of many airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to realise their commitment under UDAN.
Any recommendations to give a further fillip to the sector?
AAI has introduced a new concept in the construction industry, considering the floatation of current tenders on EPC mode. As a result of the stringent qualification criteria, limited bidders have been qualifying. I strongly recommend modification in the qualification criteria to open up the sector to more competition. I suggest tenders up to Rs 5 billion; the existing bidding system should be continued to ensure smooth operations, which will avoid monopoly and overtrading of some limited construction companies.
Considering airports as well as other construction segments, which sectors will the company’s business focus on?
We are expecting major funding in water treatment, sewage treatment and waste management, wherein major projects shall be opened up by the government. As a company,we are seriously evaluating our entry into these sunrise areas.