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Friday, March 05, 2021

Govt eyes Rs 30k cr private investment in highway projects

The Union Budget had allocated Rs 1.18 lakh crore for highways from the central coffers—the highest ever—and around Rs 65,000 crore is to be raised from extra budgetary resources, including borrowings.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: February 6, 2021 7:27:09 am
union Budget 2021, highway projects, highway investment projects, delhi mumbai expressway, National Highways Authority of India, indian express newsThe overall budget of the ministry stands at Rs 2.13 lakh crore.

The Centre has drawn up a Rs 2.02-lakh crore investment plan to build highways in the next financial year and Rs 30,000 crore of this sum is expected to come from the private sector, a senior official said Friday. The latter amount will be raised through hybrid annuity model (HAM) and build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects.

The Union Budget had allocated Rs 1.18 lakh crore for highways from the central coffers—the highest ever—and around Rs 65,000 crore is to be raised from extra budgetary resources, including borrowings.

“In addition to the budgetary resources and IEBR [Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources], additional fund generation sources are being tapped for highway projects and an expected private investment of Rs 30,000 crore in 2021-22 through HAM and BOT projects,” Road Transport and Highways Secretary Giridhar Aramane told reporters Friday.

The overall budget of the ministry stands at Rs 2.13 lakh crore.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has monetised two bundles of TOT (toll-operate-transfer) comprising nine projects each with length of 681 and 566 km, and received a bid amount of Rs 9,681 crore and Rs 5,011 crore, respectively, he said. “In addition, bidding for two TOT [Toll Operate Transfer] bundles of about 54 km and 106 km is underway.”

The Secretary said the infrastructure investment trust mechanism is being utilised to generate funds from foreign and domestic institutional investors, and five operational roads have been identified to be transferred to the InvIT. The issue may take place in March 2021 to raise an expected Rs 5,000 crore, he added.

About the National Infrastructure Pipeline, Aramane said the current target for the national highways sector is to take up the implementation of 1,820 projects by 2024-25 in about 89,300 km at an estimated cost of Rs 19.35 lakh crore.

“Out of this, 86 projects of 4,414 km for Rs 32,000 crore have been completed and 1,059 projects costing Rs 6.70 lakh crore are in progress,” he said.

Total estimated fund availability from all sources for NH projects under NIP has increased from about Rs 1.72 lakh crore to Rs 2.02 lakh crore, he said.

The flagship Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be expedited while the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway’s construction will begin in 2021-22, the official said.

Work on the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor will begin this fiscal and the Kanpur-Lucknow Expressway project will commence in 2021-22.

Aramane also said a 277-km Chennai-Salem corridor will be awarded soon and construction would start next fiscal. In addition to these, the 464-km Raipur-Visakhapatnam project passing through Chhattisgarh, Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh will be awarded in the current year and construction will start in 2021-22.

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