With the concessionaire of the 136-km Kundli Manesar Palwal (KMP) expressway repeatedly missing the completion deadlines for the past three years, financial institutions funding the project are getting jittery. The project was scheduled to get into commercial operation by July 29, 2009.
Subroto Gupta, chief general manager, IDBI Bank, Mumbai, which is the lead lender for the KMP project had in October 2012 expressed grave concern of all the project lenders because of substantial time and cost over-run of the project despite release of need-based funds from time to time to the concessionaire -M/s KMP Expressways Ltd. As on date, the lenders have disbursed Rs. 983 crore to the concessionaire out of the sanctioned loan amount of Rs. 1149 crore.
The October 2012 communication from IDBI Bank to HSIIDC said: "I would like to highlight that in June 2013, the concessionaire would be exhausting the maximum permissible time of four years beyond the scheduled commercial operation date (CoD) as per the extant RBI guidelines for infrastructure sector. In these circumstances, it is imperative that all stakeholders - the concessionaire, HSIIDC and lenders work together to ensure that normal construction activities are resumed at the earliest and continue as per schedule."
The lead lender had also suggested for constituting a core committee, comprising representatives of the HSIIDC, independent consultants, engineers and three major lenders to review the progress achieved by the project on a fortnightly basis to facilitate a closer monitoring of the project.
The lenders also requested HSIIDC to grant an extension of commercial operation date to May 31, 2013, which has already been taken on record by all project lenders while approving the debt restructuring package for the company.
The HSIIDC, however, responded by saying since the concessionaire has been revising the commercial operation date time and again because of slow progress and as the work is yet to be substantially completed, it was difficult to decide the modalities of the revised commercial operation date at this stage.
The HSIIDC also said that instead of having a core committee of lenders and independent consultants to monitor the project, the representatives of senior lenders might be included in the monitoring committee headed by the chief secretary.