NHAI fast-tracks six-laning of Highways, awards five projects

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) Putting the six-laning of National Highways on a fast track, the NHAI today said it had awarded five such projects under the NHDP Phase-V aggregating a length of 882 km and involving a total cost of Rs 16,857 crore.

Describing the award of projects as ''a landmark development'' for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Road Transport and Highways Secretary Brahm Dutt said the projects, to be executed under the PPP mode within 36 months, would comprise stretches of the Golden Quadrilateral and the North-South Corridor.

Out of the total cost, private contractors will account for Rs 7.5 crore while the government's share would be Rs 3480 crore to be spent on land acquisition and utility shifting.

Mr Dutt said these are the first tranche of projects which have been awarded on the new Model Concessio Agreement (MCA) approved by the Prime Minister-headed Committee of Infrastructure (CoI).

Earlier, the two projects aggregating a length of 148 km were awarded under NHDP Phase-V, which were based on old model concession agreement. Thus, the total length awarded under this phase comes to 1030 km (16 per cent of the approved programme).

He said the five projects had been awarded on the new MCA in which the concept of negative grant had been changed to revenue sharing model. ''None of the successful bidders for these projects has asked for any grant from the NHAI. On the contray, they have all quoted for sharing revenue with the NHAI,'' he pointed out.

An important feature of these projects is that the contractor will be entitled to collect toll even during the construction period which will enable the company leverage larger investment.

Among the five projects are Chennai-Tada on NH-5, which has been awarded to Larsen&Toubro Ltd-ECC (Rs 418.75 crore), Gurgaon-Kotputli-Jaipur on NH-8 (Emirates Trading Agency LLL-KMC Construction Ltd, Rs 1869.25 crore) and Panipat-Jalandhar on NH-1 (Isolux Corsan SA-Corsan-Corviam Constructions SA-Soma Enterprises Ltd, Rs 2747.50 crore).

The two other projects are Surat-Dahisar on NH-8, which has been awarded to IRB Infrastructure Developeres Ltd-Deutsche Bank AG for Rs 1693.75 crore, and Chilkaluripet-Vijayawada on NH-5 to IJM Corporation Berhard-IDFC Ltd for Rs 675.38 crore.

Mr Dutt said these projects had attracted tremendous foreign direct investment. Besides, in four out of the five projects, the successful bidders have equity participation from foreign companies.

The remaining one project has been awarded to India infrastructure major L&T Ltd.

The foreign equity participation, ranging from 10 per cent to 51 per cent, will come from Emirates Trading Agency LLC (ETA), IJM Corporation Berhad, Deutsche Bank AG and Isolux group of companies.

''With the award of these projects, the NHAI has reached the threshold stage from where it can take off in a mjor way and also raise large resources from the private sector,'' he added.

The Centre had approved seven phases of the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) at an estimated cost of Rs 2,42,000 crore, of which the NHDP Phase-V was approved for Rs 41,240 crore.

Under this phse, a total of 6500 km of existing four-laned highways have to be widened to six-lane through Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis following Design Build Finance and Opereation (DBFO) model.

UNI SKS VD AS1729

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