Gadkari’s Highway Village Project Sees Good Response From Bidders, Driving Could Soon Be A Smoother Affair

Swarajya Staff

Mar 30, 2018, 01:52 PM | Updated 01:52 PM IST

National Highway 544 between Erode and Coimbatore (Srikanth Ramakrishnan/Wikimedia Commons)
National Highway 544 between Erode and Coimbatore (Srikanth Ramakrishnan/Wikimedia Commons)

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari’s ambitious ‘Highway Village’ project has seen a good response with bidders eyeing at least 21 out of 34 sites, reports Mint. The Highway Village project – aimed at providing a smoother driving experience and providing employment to locals – will be built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model where land would be provided by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the private partner would invest in the remainder of the project. A total of 150 such villages are being planned with NHAI have called for bids for 34 of them last year. A majority of the bidders are state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) such as the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), and the Bharat Petroleum (BPCL).

Each of these sites will feature amenities such as parking lots for vehicles, clean toilets, rest areas, motels, dormitories, shopping areas, fuel stations, charging points for electric vehicles, repair workshops, restaurants, food courts and dhabas, villlage haats for farmers to sell their produce and a helipad.

Public sector OMCs are bidding for the projects in order to diversify their revenue stream which has been hit due to reduced refining margins and increased oil prices globally.

The first lot of sites under the ambitious wayside amenities project would be present in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Those larger than 5 acres will be branded as ‘Highway Villages’ while those smaller will be classified as Highway Nests.

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