Companies bid for BOT-toll highway project in WB
Adani Group, IRB Infrastructure, GR Infraprojects Ltd and PNC Infratech have submitted bids for the six laning of two stretches in West Bengal totalling around 132 km under the revised, investor-friendly build-operate-transfer (BOT-toll) scheme.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) invited requests for proposals (RFPs) for six laning of the two stretches in West Bengal—67.75 km stretch from Panagarh to Palsit and 63.83 km stretch from Palsit to Dankuni on NH-19.
The two projects are a part of the Bharatmala project, under which the NHAI is to build 34,800 km of national highways.
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From as high as 96% of all its project awards in 2011-12, NHAI's project awards through the BOT (toll) route came to a nought in the last two fiscals. The combination of higher project awards resulted in higher reliance on conventional fully state funded EPC projects and higher accumulation of debt for NHAI, which stood at Rs 2.7 lakh crore as of November 2020.
The centre recently revised the model concession agreement (MCA) for BOT-toll projects, under which the revenue potential of a project would be reassessed every five years during the concession period as against every 10 years now. Therefore, the concession period will be extended early in the contract's tenure, adding to the certainty of cash flows.
To protect investor interest in BOT-toll projects, the growth of which will help curtail NHAI's increasing debt and find non-government, non-debt resources for highway development, the government will also guarantee to the developers that a BOT-toll project will be awarded only after NHAI taking possession of 90% of the requisite land, similar to Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) projects. In fully government funded EPC projects, the award is executed only after 90% of the land is acquired.