Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the government is committed to reviving the build, operate, and transfer (BOT) model for road projects and making it more investment-friendly and attractive for private partnerships.
"This will not only strengthen the road infrastructure but will have a ripple effect that will help to strengthen the economy, increase employment potential, and reduce logistic cost," Gadkari said at a conference.
In order to encourage public private partnership for build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects and foster ease of doing business, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) organised a conference with industry stakeholders like concessionaires/contractors, highway operators, investment trusts, bankers/financial institutions, and technical and financial consultants from the road sector in New Delhi.
The conference saw presentations made by senior NHAI officials on the proposed modifications in the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) of BOT (Toll) to address concerns and remove roadblocks highlighted by the stakeholders.
The proposed modifications include various provisions to eliminate discrepancies such as the determination of termination payments, modifications in the concession period based on actual traffic (PCU) Vs tolling groups of vehicles, actual traffic exceeding design capacity to be re-visited, and compensation for delays on the part of authority as well as force-majeure cause to be clearly defined termination payments before project completion with a new provision of buy back in case of additional tollway/competing road.
At present, projects are being awarded on Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) or Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) due to various challenges in the implementation of BOT Projects.
Many initiatives have been taken for revival of BOT projects and various schemes like Harmonious Substitution, One Time Fund Infusion, Rationalised Compensation, Premium Deferment, and allowing refinancing have been adopted in the past.
Going forward, 53 BOT (Toll) Projects for a length of 5200 km worth Rs 2.1 lakh crore have been identified, and bids for seven projects with a length of 387 km worth Rs 27,000 crore have been invited.
As per the Government of India’s ‘Vision 2047’ Plan, a large number of high-speed corridors are envisaged to be developed. Robust public-private partnership in the development of the road sector will play a pivotal role in realising this vision and will greatly contribute towards the development as well as operation and maintenance of a world class national highway network in the country.
The conference was inaugurated by Gadkari while Anurag Jain, Secretary, MoRTH, Santosh Kumar Yadav, NHAI Chairman, and senior officials from the ministry, National Highways Authority of India, NHIDCL, NITI Aayog, Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Financial Services, Department of Legal Affairs were also present on the occasion.
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