Nine road projects cleared by PPP appraisal committee

November 1, 2006

NEW DELHI, NOV 1: Road sector projects seem to be on the fast track with the public private partnership appraisal committee (PPP-AC) clearing nine road projects in its second meeting on Wednesday.

These include construction of the access-controlled highways near Bangalore, three projects of four-laning of highways in Karnataka under National Highways Development Project-III (NHDP-III), four projects in Tamil Nadu, and one project in Himachal Pradesh.

The projects, each estimated to cost between Rs 200 crore to 1,000 crore, will be implemented on a build-operate-transfer basis. Government sources said another seven highway projects are likely to be taken up by the PPP-AC in its meeting next week. These would be the last of the projects finalised under the old model concession agreement (MCA) for highway projects on BOT basis. The committee has also decided to implement the new MCA as soon as the toll policy for national highways is finalised.

Sources said a crucial meeting to finalise the toll policy has been postponed due to recent administrative changes in the finance ministry. The meeting will be rescheduled soon, they added.

Meanwhile, the appraisal of the Mumbai Metro Rail projects, seeking a viability gap funding of Rs 650 crore has been deferred, as the new ministry of urban development secretary M Ramachandran took over on Wednesday itself.

The Mumbai Metro Rail project has been in trouble, with the finance ministry unwilling to consider it under the PPP-AC, as it had been bid out before the committee was formed.The finance ministry was keen that the project be taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. A decision in this regard was to be taken by the committee on Wednesday.

Share your comments here: