Overwhelmed with the response for the first tranche of highway projects under the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model, union minister for roads and highways Nitin Gadkari Thursday said he expects the second tranche to fetch over Rs 10,000 crore.
The maiden bundle of nine highway projects under TOT was a huge success, which was oversubscribed and had fetched NHAI Rs 9,681 crore."We are positive that the second round will also get a similar response. I personally expect it to fetch Rs 10,000 crore, more than what we got for the first tranche," Gadkari told reporters here.
The minister was in the megapolis here to attend the road show organised by the ministry and NHAI to attract investors for the second tranche of highway projects of 586 km under toll-operate-transfer (TOT) basis. "We have adopted a transparent and corruption free approach and will extend all support and safety to the investors, especially when it comes to issues related to toll collection. Along with the domestic, foreign investors are also keen to invest in the roads and infrastructure sectors and we will do everything to protect their faith and investments," he added.
TOT is a model for monetising operational national highways projects, where investors make a lump sum payment in return for long-term toll collection rights backed by a sound tolling system. Under TOT, the concession period is of 30 years. The first TOT bundle of nine projects, totaling around 681 km of roads in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, was awarded to Australia's Macquarie.
The second tranche is spread over four states including Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar. The offer has 12 toll plazas across four highways. These stretches include Chittorgarh-Kota and Chittorgarh Bypass, Swaroopganj-Pindwara and Pindwara-Udaipur, Palanpur/Khemana-Abu Road, Jetpur-Somnath, Purnia-Dalkhola, Dalkhola-Islampur, Islampur-Sonapur-Ghoshpukur and Salsalabari-West Bengal Assam Border Section.
When asked about the government's stand on IL&FS he said, "We should be able to resolve issue of NHAI exposure to the company. We are in discussion with the new board regarding this and we have taken a positive approach towards this. Our attitude is to resolve this issue as soon as possible.