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New firm to build expressways on the cards

business Updated: Oct 11, 2012 02:11 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
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In order to speed up the development of expressways in India, the government plans to set up a new company — National Expressways and Connectivity Corporation (NEXCOR) — under the ministry of road transport and highways.

The 11th Five-Year Plan had stated that the government would consider establishing an Expressway Authority of India to formulate and implement a master plan for building 15,600 km of access-controlled expressways for high-density corridors at an estimated cost of Rs. 156,000 crore. (The cost of developing highways/expressways is an estimated Rs. 10 crore per km.)

Besides, the government also plans to acquire the land for 6,000 km and expedite construction of 1,000 km of expressways under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase VI to provide for unhindered and high-speed traffic.

Progress on the actual implementation of expressways has been extremely poor so far. While under NHDP-VI, feasibility studies were to be completed by 2008, land acquisition was to be done by 2009 and projects were to be awarded by 2010.

However, the study has so far been completed only in the case of one project.

“The objective of setting up the proposed company under Company Act 1956 is to have an alternative delivery mechanism for the development of expressways,” said a government official.

The proposed company would formulate a framework for development of such expressways in India, said the official. “NEXCOR will look into planning, building, operation and management of expressways besides facilitating development of associated Urban Infrastructure along the expressways.”

Raising resources from the government, bilateral and multilateral funding agencies, and deployment of funds will also be the responsibility of the proposed company.

The company would also set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) either individually or in joint venture with state governments.