The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to tap innovative financing modes for projects and rope in foreign pension funds and other entities such as equity investors to fund mega-highway projects for reducing overall costs. S reported, the equity participation could be about Rs 46,000 crore worth new initiatives of expressways like the Rs 7,500 crore Dwarka Expressway.
The concept of roping in equity partners is being explored after NHAI got over its maiden bundle of nine highway projects under toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model that will bring Rs 10,500 crore cash to NHAI's kitty. The NHAI plans to make individual projects into profit centres as equity participation will be project-specific. The move could be significant as the government has undertaken new initiatives for building new express highways and elevated roads at an estimated Rs 46,416 crore to ease traffic in major cities. The initiatives include the Rs 10,500-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway and the Rs 5,000-crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which are under execution.
Besides, other projects include the proposed Rs 7,500-crore Dwarka Expressway, Rs 3,000-crore Urban Extension Road and Rs 5,000-crore Satellite Ring Road along with Hosur Ring Road. The Cabinet in 2016 had authorised NHAI to monetise public-funded National Highway (NH) projects. And, 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding had been identified for potential monetisation using the TOT model.