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Australian firm pays govt Rs 9,681 cr to operate nine highway stretches

As the Union road transport and highways ministry is getting ready to auction the second lot of highway stretches, Australia-based Macquarie on Wednesday made a payment of Rs 9,681.50 crore to the government to operate nine highway stretches under its toll operate and transfer policy.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2018 22:25 IST
New Delhi
Union road transport and highways ministry,auction,highway
The second bundle of over 586 kms, which will now be put up for auction, is across four states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar. The offer has 12 toll plazas across four highways.(HT/Picture for representation)

As the Union road transport and highways ministry is getting ready to auction the second lot of completed highway stretches, Australia-based capital fund manager Macquarie on Wednesday made an upfront payment of Rs 9,681.50 crore to the government to operate nine highway stretches under its new toll operate and transfer (TOT) policy.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had floated India’s first TOT model to monetise NHs by awarding toll collection operations to a private party for 30 years. The first bundle of nine highway stretches measuring about 680 kilometre in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat was auctioned earlier this year.

Macquarie was among the four bidders to win the first bundle of the TOT contract of NHAI.

The second bundle of over 586 kms, which will now be put up for auction, is across four states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar. The offer has 12 toll plazas across four highways.

On Wednesday, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (India) Pvt Ltd’s Senior MD Suresh Goyal presented the cheque to Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari at a roadshow organized by the NHAI.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that the second bundle of TOT has been offered and several more bundles will be offered in the months to come. He called upon the private investors to bid for these bundles, saying TOT is a risk-free model.

“India needs foreign investment for its infrastructure sector and our department has successfully brought about this TOT model. The handing over of first bundle under TOT will encourage more such awards in coming days and we will invest the money received to boost infrastructure in the country,” Gadkari said.

The minister also invited investors to come up with more innovative investment models for the infrastructure sector. NHAI has identified 75 NH stretches across the country for awarding contracts to a third party under the TOT model.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 22:25 IST