The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited proposals from agencies to study and identify an inventory of road projects for project monetisation to meet its non-budgetary funding requirement over the next few years.
NHAI has sought request for proposals for empanelment of agencies ‘for preparation/submission of report on inventory of highway assets, assessing existing physical condition of the national highway stretches under consideration for award on toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model.
NHAI has already prepared detailed project reports (DPRs) for TOT bundles 4,5 and 6. NHAI are calling experts to create an inventory of projects in the future. These TOT bundles will be offered in average stretches of 500 km.
There was “push” from the highest quarters of the government to go big on the asset monetisation drive. The authority has already studied road stretches of around 5,000 km to be offered on the TOT mode, and could potentially monetise around 15,000 km of road stretches by 2025.
NHAI had invited bids for TOT bundle 3 in June this year for a cumulative 566 km of highway stretches in Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh with the floor price set at Rs 4,995 crore. The first round of TOT auctions got the government Rs 9,681 crore against the initial estimated concession value (IECV) of Rs 6,258 crore set by the government.
The second round of auctions, however, was cancelled in February this year as response from the developers remained tepid. NHAI is now in the process of making TOT projects more attractive to bring in smaller investors. Among other things, it is considering to offer packages in a mix of 15 and 30 years of lease period.
As part of a revised strategy for implementation of the Bharatmala programme which entails construction of 60,000 kms of national highways across the country NHAI also plans to prioritise projects with financial viability so they can be recycled soon after they are constructed.