Ahmedabad: Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Ltd (GIFT), which is overseeing the construction of a business hub billed as a potential rival to Mumbai, has sought arbitration against Noida-based architectural firm Fairwood Holdings Pvt. Ltd, two years after terminating the contract of the firm earlier known as Fairwood Consultants Pvt Ltd.
The project has been delayed by at least three years and Fairwood is partly to blame, said R.K. Jha, chief executive officer of GIFT.
The complex was to house 125 tall buildings with a “diamond tower” at the centre scaling about 400ft in height. The company had earlier said it expected to complete the 100-storey tower by 2010.
This, however, did not happen; height restrictions, given its proximity to Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, plunged the project into uncertainty and the Airports Authority of India didn’t approve the plan.
“The drawings submitted by Fairwood were not sufficient. Also, they did not advise us correctly in areas like the financial feasibility of the project. GIFT was earlier aiming to develop the buildings and Fairwood did not tell us that we will not be able to build such a large project. The amount given to them is as advance and whatever due we want it back,” said Jha.
Fairwood was paid at least Rs.170 crore in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
GIFT has hired an independent agency to carry out assessment of the work done by Fairwood, Jha said.
“If they were not happy with our design why did they showcase it across the world,” said Ranbir Das, managing director of Fairwood Holdings. “In the process of arbitration we will put our side of the story and I think we have a lot more to claim.”