The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to award up to 4,000 km of roads through EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts in 2013-14, largely to overcome the funding issues in the BOT –– build, operate and transfer –– contracts. The authority still has to chart a plan for the BOT segment that generated a meek response from the companies.
NHAI tried awarding projects under the EPC route in the just concluded financial year, but could not manage to award a single project.
Issues such as environment and forest clearances apart from land acquisition problems, forced the authority to award just 1,156 km under 11 BOT projects in 2012-13. G Suresh, Chief General Manager of NHAI said that they are looking to award anywhere between 3,000-4,000 km of EPC road projects, where the companies are not dependent on bankers for financial closures, since they only take the construction risk and get an assured returns, if projects are completed on time and the cost estimation is correct.