The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today cleared a proposal to permit toll collection on all two lane (with paved shoulders) national highway stretches,moving away from the existing policy of allowing for levies only on four- and six-lane roads.
In another decision,it provided respite for commuters using roads,under widening process by capping the toll rate at all future six-laning projects at 75 per cent during the construction period against the current norm of charging the full toll.
However,the CCEA stayed away from providing a blanket relief for all stuck road projects awarded on premium. It also decided on forming a committee to decide on the projects eligible for a bailout.
There is no blanket approval for all 40 projects in trouble due to slowdown in the economy. It has been suggested that a committee be formed to decide on projects to be eligible for a bailout, said a source in the know.
According to the proposal sent by road transport ministry,relief,in terms of deferment of premium payment,was sought for 40 projects that were awarded on premium. Of the 40 projects,construction work has not started on 23 of them and the remaining are in different phase of construction.
Sources in the know said that developers seeking rescheduling of premium would be asked to pay a higher discount rate of 12 per cent on the premium payment during the concession period. This is more than the 10 per cent proposed by the National Highways Authority of India.
A discount rate of 12 per cent is not acceptable to the infrastructure companies,as they feel that projects will turn unviable at such a high rate.
A 10 per cent discount rate would have meant 10.6 per cent for us. Making it 12 would be making things further difficult for us, said an executive of a Bangalore-based infrastructure firm.
Meanwhile,to discourage overloading,the Cabinet also allowed mandating offloading of extra cargo at the owners risk before the vehicles are allowed to ply. Moreover,offenders would have to pay up to 10 times the toll charge.
The Cabinet,however,did not take any decision on the amount of toll to be charged on expressways.
A committee with finance minister,road transport minister and deputy chairman of planning commission was formed to decide on the rates to be charged on expressways, said a source.
Govt approves Rs 1,756-crore road project in Gujarat
New Delhi: The government has approved a road project in Gujarat,entailing Rs 1,756 crore expenditure,under its flagship Gujarat under its flagship road building programme NHDP.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for four/two laning of the Gadu-Dwarka section of National Highway-8E in Gujarat under the National Highways Development Project Phase IV on Build,Operate and Transfer in Design,Build,Finance,Operate and Transfer pattern, an official statement said.
The total length of the road will be about 209.89 km,out of which 119.7 km will be four laned and 90.19 km will be two laned with paved shoulders,it added. pti