Cube Highways and Infrastructure has emerged as the highest bidder at Rs 5,011 crore in the third round of road monetisation programme of NHAI under Toll-Operate-Transfer model, sources have told CNBC-TV18.
The second-highest bid was submitted by NIIF at Rs 4,230 crore. IRB Infrastructure submitted a bid of Rs 3,510 crore, sources close to the development said.
The third TOT bundle, with a reserve price of Rs 4,995.48 crore, had gained interest from 27 companies in the preliminary round.
NHAI had invited bids for a road bundle of total road length of 566.27 km in June under the third phase of the Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model. It comprises of nine stretches traversing a total length of nearly 566 km in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu.
While the first TOT bundle comprising nine project stretches aggregating to a length of 680 km exceeded the expectations of the government with Macquarie winning the bid at Rs 9,691 crore as against the expectation of Rs 6,258 crore, the second TOT bundle of 584 km failed as the bids received were lower than the reserve price.
As per the current terms of TOT projects or PPP (public-private-partnership), the right of collection and appropriation is assigned for a pre-determined concession period (30 years) to concessionaires (Developers/Investors) against upfront payment of a lump sum amount to NHAI. The operation and maintenance obligations of such projects are also with the concessionaire until the completion of the concession period.
The road transport and highways ministry has also been working on making the TOT model lucrative for investors. The ministry had floated a cabinet note to bring down the concession period for highways offered under TOT model to 15 years from the current period of 30 years, CNBC-TV18 had reported on September 13.
The road transport ministry had also floated another cabinet note to reduce the toll assessment period for national Highways to one year from the current period of two years, CNBC-TV18 had reported.