National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) eyes up to Rs 20,000 crore from monetisation of 30 to 40 projects in the first phase.
The move follows the government’s move to authorise NHAI to monetise the public funded highway projects in August.
“We target to bring out overall 30 or 40 projects initially and we would be able to raise about Rs 15,000 to 20,000 crore out of it to begin with,” NHAI Chairman Raghav Chandra told PTI.
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Chandra said NHAI is hopeful of bidding out a few projects by December but the process is going to be a continuous exercise and NHAI would take it from time to time.
“We hope that in the next two months we should be able to bid out our first few projects. We are getting DPRs (detailed project reports) prepared …we will be looking at the issues connected to the projects,” the NHAI chief said.
“The traffic studies related to that projects, the revenue streams available and overall the viability of the project. As soon as those are ready, we will bunch some of these projects and would be able bid them out,” Chandra said.
He said there was enthusiasm about the scheme and NHAI was confident there will be a large number of takers for these.
“We already have extremely positive enthusiasm there for this with all kinds of borrowing investors, the Canadians, the Europeans, the Americans and so on and especially the sovereign wealth fund etc in the Middle East,” he said.
NHAI is hopeful that as soon as it launches the scheme there will be a sufficient number of takers, he said adding, this would be good in the overall interest of the country as private sector operators will come to manage the roads and “they will be able to bring in a special focus on safety practices”.
He said, “Monetisation of projects would be undertaken in a selective manner so that we can raise funds, we would like private sector efficiencies in operating and managing those projects and we do require monetisation to be able to provide us with the requisite fund support that we require to expand our footprint in our programme.”
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on August 3 authorised NHAI to monetise the public funded highway projects which could result in funds in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh crore initially, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
Around 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetisation using the toll operate transfer (TOT) Model.
The corpus generated from proceeds of such project monetisation could be utilised by the government to meet its fund requirements regarding future development and operation and maintenance of highways in the country and could address development of highways in unviable geographies.
Market feedback indicates that certain institutional investors from outside the country have a long term investment appetite and are keen to participate in operational highway projects with stable toll revenue outlook.