The main lender of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project, infrastructure finance company IDFC Limited, has decided against taking over the project from private concessionaire Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL).
IDFC spokesperson told HT that it will not pursue an equity stake of 74% in DGSCL because of “discomfort and uncertainty regarding contingent liabilities of the company and the full extent of unsettled bills that the company seems to have been accumulating”.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) board had on January 30 approved the IDFC takeover proposal.
Officials of the highway body confirmed that the infrastructure finance company had communicated its inability in taking over the project. They said the deadline for the takeover was March 4.
According to sources, NHAI may slap a show-cause notice on DGSCL to terminate the contract. However, DGSCL has the option of moving court against the notice. Last year too, NHAI had first issued a similar notice following which the concessionaire approached the Delhi High Court.
However, the DGSCL said it would not back out at this juncture as it would be detrimental to the interests of commuters and the project. Also, such a move would affect the financial interests of the other lenders.
A DGSCL spokesperson said, “We have extended all possible co-operation to expedite the due diligence process by setting up a data room, placing all information and documents there and repeatedly inviting IDFC and its three appointed agencies to access the data. Visits equal to approximately 50 mandays were made by IDFC and its agencies and they expressed their satisfaction with the data provided.”
Other lenders of the project include Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of India and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.