Friday, December 30, 2005

Aircraft Modernization-- Flaws in procedure used just published a report that hinted about irregularities in the entire bidding process for the modernization of the Delhi and Mumbai airports. It seems that private players were being given indiscriminate favor (a charge that these players predictably deny), which has resulted in the resignation of upright officers belonging to the Airport Authority of India, which oversees the functioning of airports in the country.

The right wing media (read the Indian Express) had gung ho talked about the inevitable necessity of privatization as the only means of bringing modern utilities to these airports (the logic can be contradicted empirically by taking the example of Changi Airport, which was developed with public and private participation simultaneously, IIRC..this author was astounded at the levels of facility available at Changi ..he stayed there once on a 19-hour transit...). IE had also suggested that the bids submitted by AAI was not enough qualitatively to be considered at all in the first place and almost excitedly cherished the process that had unfolded.

The Left parties, particularly the CPI(M) had come up with a statement that the entire modernization procedure used was probably flawed and there could be a hidden scam in it.. The E.Sreedharan (of the Delhi Metro fame) committee that was set up to look into the reevaluation process, almost confirms this aspect. They suggest that what was required was modernization, not ex ante privatization.

Modernization of the airports is a necessity, YES, no second questions about it. The problem is that in the name of improving efficiency and bringing facilities, what is being undertaken is providing private players with more muscle to proceed with profit accumulation at any cost. Yet another example of the increasing continuity of the monopolization of the Indian bourgeoisie.

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