DND flyway drive gets dearer as Noida Toll Bridge Company hikes toll rates

April 9, 2013

DND flyway drive gets dearer as Noida Toll Bridge Company hikes toll rates
Noida DND flyway.jpg

Toll rates for the DND (Delhi-Noida Direct) flyway were hiked from today by the Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL).”Two wheelers toll rates have been increased from Rs 11 to Rs 12, for cars from Rs 22 to Rs 25, LCVs from Rs 45 to Rs 55, bus and truck will now shell out Rs 70 from earlier Rs 55. Large vehicles will pay Rs 100 from existing Rs 75 and extra large vehicles from Rs 95 to Rs 135. The hiked rates are effective from today,” said Anwar Abbasi, spokesperson, NTBCL.

However, the commuters are disappointed with the increase four months after withdrawing the toll hike.”Today I paid Rs 25 as toll tax for my car instead of Rs 22. It will put an additional expense of Rs 180 every month,” said Neeraj Sharma, a resident of Noida who uses DND Flyway to go to his work place at Defence Colony in Delhi.


Cabinet approves road projects worth Rs 1,500 crore

October 15, 2012

New Delhi: The government on Thursday approved Rs 899.24 crore investment proposal for building a section of National Highway 758 in Rajasthan.

It also cleared a project worth over Rs 600 crore for two-laning of Salasar-Haryana Border section of NH 65.

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the investment proposal for implementing the project for the development of 4-laning of Rajasamand-Bhilwara section of the National Highway 758 in Rajasthan, an official statement said.

The total project cost estimated of the project for implementing under Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) pattern will be Rs 899.24 crore out of which Rs 221.45 crore will be for land acquisition, rehabilitation, resettlement and pre-construction cost.

The total length of the project will be 87.250 km and is covered in the districts of Rajasamand and Bhilwara in Rajasthan, the statement said.

The main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Rajasthan and reduce the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Rajasamand and Bhilwara.

The Cabinet in its meeting held in July 2008 had approved the proposal for up-gradation of 5,000 km. It was proposed that keeping in view of traffic justification, additional 2,000 km may be undertaken as four-laned stretches.

CCI note for a unified NHDP Phase -IV, for 20,000 km, subsuming within it the 5000 km already approved under NHDP Phase -IV-A was approved by the CCI on February, 2012.

Rajasamand – Bhilwara is one of the projects approved for 4-laning, included under NHDP Phase-IV and within the ceiling of 4000 km for 4-laning. The same is also the part of annual work programme for the year 2012-13 of this Ministry.

The Cabinet also cleared 2-laning with paved side shoulders of Salasar-Haryana Border section of NH 65 from start to km-154.141 km in Rajasthan under NHDP-IV to be executed on BOT (Toll) mode on DBFOT basis.

The total project cost estimated for implementation under DBFOT pattern will be Rs 601.19 crore out of which Rs 71.12 crore will be towards land acquisition, rehabilitation, resettlement and pre-construction cost.

The project aims at reducing the time and cost of traffic plying between Salasar and Haryana border.


Source: http://zeenews.india.com

Cape Town threatens lawsuit over tolls

August 23, 2011

Outrage over proposed R10bn winelands toll road project in the Western Cape

THE City of Cape Town is threatening legal action if the state goes ahead with plans to develop the R10bn winelands toll road project in the Western Cape.

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which struggled this year to apply tolls to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project amid a public outcry about the high costs, has not yet begun construction on the winelands route.

Cape Town mayoral committee member Brett Herron said yesterday he had written to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele to inform him about the city’s declaration of a dispute under the Intergovernmental Relations Act.

The project encompasses 105km of the N1 highway between Cape Town and Worcester and a 70km stretch of the N2 between Bot River and Cape Town. In 2003 the project received environmental authorisation and it was gazetted as a toll road in 2008.

Mr Ndebele had not received the letter yet, Department of Transport spokesman Logan Maistry said yesterday. “But I am sure that once it has been received there will be further engagement and consultation on this matter, including by the newly announced government commission on infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Herron said the letter was sent two weeks ago.

The city wants to meet Sanral next week to select an independent arbitrator for its dispute. The city alleges that Sanral’s processes, including its environmental impact assessment and its published intent to toll, were “flawed”.

Sanral did not address the city’s concerns during the public participation process, Mr Herron said. These included the socioeconomic effects of tolling . Motorists avoiding the tolls would use alternative routes belonging to the city, which “will impact on maintenance required”. “Sanral refused to discuss the City’s concerns…. Our letter to the minister is our last attempt at resolving this dispute before legal action,” Mr Herron said.

Toll roads “are always an emotional issue,” Sanral manager Alex van Niekerk said. “The bottom line is if you cannot come up with the money through taxes then you are either going to have (tolls) or not have the project.”

Source: businessday.co.za

Quit Toll Day on August 9

August 18, 2011

KOCHI: After a short interval, the days of agitation are back at Kumbalam Toll Plaza. With the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) resuming toll collection, various organisations under the aegis of National Highway Protection Council have commenced an indefinite strike to protest against toll collection along the Aroor-Edappally stretch of NH 47.

On August 9,  Quit India Day, the agitators will observe the day as Quit Toll Day. “We have decided to organise an indefinite strike. Today we erected the pole for constructing a tent for the strike near the toll plaza in Kumbalam,” said C R Neelakantan, activist and leader of National Highway Protection Council (NHPC). “People who pay heavy road taxes are being forced to bear the additional burden of toll which is unfair. Our demand is that the Government should construct 30-metre wide NHs. There is no need to construct the 45-metre-wide road,” he said.

“Construction of private NHs or BOT-based NHs are not feasible in the state. Unlike other states where NHs are used by long-distance travellers, here short-distance travellers constitute the major chunk NH users and it is difficult for them to pay toll every day,” Neelakantan said.

Many organisations have already come forward to conduct the strike every day till August 15.  “August 15 will be observed as the Right to Travel day. We plan to picket the toll plaza.

We are yet to give shape to the programme,” Neelakantan said. In other states, few roads cut the across NH and that too after 40-50 km interval. But in Kerala, on an average of more than five roads will enter the NH on a one-km stretch. So, it will be very difficult for the locals to pay the toll,” he said. The NHPC argues that elevated roads can be constructed using the subsidy given for BOT roads and the amount used for acquiring land for the widening the road.

Source: http://expressbuzz.com

NHAI forced to stop toll collection at Kumbalam

June 13, 2011

KOCHI: Amidst strong protests from the local people and other organisations, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to stop the toll collection at the Kumbalam Toll Plaza on NH-47, on Saturday.

Following protests, the authorities have decided to convene a meeting of ministers, MLAs and the representatives of various organisations on Sunday to discuss the issue. Activists of various political parties and organisations, under the aegis of the National Highway Protection Council, took out marches to the Toll Plaza at Kumbalam on Saturday morning. Some of them picketed the toll booth.

The agitators and the local people tore away the flex board put up by the NHAI displaying the toll rates.

The agitators prevented the motorists from paying the toll. As the protests grew, the officials closed the toll counters for the day.

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Road Ministry adopts new technology standard for electronic toll collection

July 29, 2010

RFID technology: The Chairman, Expert Committee on Electronic Toll Collection Technology, Mr Nandan Nilekani, submitting the report to the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr Kamal Nath, in the Capital on Friday.

Toll booths on National Highways will adopt the passive RFID technology standard – ISO 18000 6C — for electronic toll collection (ETC) system, based on the recommendation of a committee set up for this purpose, headed by Mr Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The recommendations have been adopted by the Highways Ministry.

In the ETC system, vehicles will have tags on their windscreens – where amounts can be pre-loaded (just like prepaid SIM cards for phones) – and when the vehicles pass through NH toll lanes with tag readers, the toll amount would automatically get debited. This will pave the way for setting up of ETC system across the NH network.

Since last four years or so, attempts of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to adopt any technology standard for this project had been thwarted by companies which had competing technology of ETC. This standard was chosen because of many factors. For instance, for vehicle owners, the cost of adopting this technology will be much lower compared to other standards; it has been used in many countries in the last one decade. Also, there are multiple vendors such as Neology, Intermac, Motorola, Sirit, Alien and Invango, who operate in this space.

For the system to work, the user vehicles need to buy tags and have them attached to the windscreen; the toll booths require a tag reader; and a central toll clearing house has to be set up which will take care of all reconciliations between various road developers. For instance, between two points of travel, a commercial vehicle might cross five tolling booths – two of which are operated by the NHAI and three by three different private concessionaires. The clearing house operator will ensure that the amount debited from the vehicles’ on board unit (tag) at each of these toll plazas is credited into the concerned owner/operator of the highway stretch on a real time basis. As more vehicles adopt the ETC, the toll revenue leakage can be contained to a large extent.

“There are about 147 toll booths on the NH network, out of which about 100-odd are operated by NHAI and remaining by private developers,” Mr V.L. Patankar, Member-Technical, NHAI, said. Each reader will cost about Rs 2 lakh. Each NH toll booth will have at least two lanes (one on each side) with tag readers. NHAI or the operating concessionaire is likely to bear the cost of setting up tag readers at its toll plazas though the Union Highway Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, said he expects the system to be “self-financing”. It is also not clear as to who will fund the clearing house operator. At present, two NH stretches have ETC options –Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and Bangalore-Electronic City elevated highway.


The committee has recommended that a system integrator for ETC design and implementation be there, and hiring of a consultant for the financial bidding and vendor selection. An authority has to be set up to operate central system. Also, the committee has said that a high penalty system should be worked out to handle violators – vehicles who try to pass through the plaza without enough funds.

The National Institute for Smart Government – an eGovernance Innovation Library in IIT Delhi – is likely to help the Road Transport Ministry in the initiative.


Mr Nath said the process of setting up the ETC systems should be initiated in 18 months. He added that he will talk to SIAM to ensure that vehicles are sold with pre-fitted tags. Mr Nilekani added that with ETC in place, the card can by used by various other operators such as parking owners, state highway concessionaires, etc., for payments. Mr Nilekani also said that a public portal should provide data on vehicle traffic on highways and toll plazas.

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Infrastructure sector set to receive

April 26, 2010

More bank credit will soon flow to build infrastructure in the country with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday reducing the level of provision against substandard loans to the sector from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.

The central bank’s decision to treat annuities and toll collection rights under build-operate-transfer (BOT) road and highway projects as tangible securities has also come as a major relief to infrastructure companies.

Banks and institutional lenders said the move on provisioning would enable lenders to loosen their purse strings for the infrastructure sector where long gestation projects often end up with issues that are beyond the control of both the lender and the borrower.

“There are many uncertainties in the infrastructure sector. Often there are delays due to reasons such as obtaining environment clearances and delay in equipment supplies that lead to assets becoming substandard. The RBI move will definitely encourage banks to go ahead and provide more advances to the infrastructure sector since it will provide a comfort factor,” SS Kohli, chairman and managing director of India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL), the government’s flagship infrastructure finance company, told Financial Chronicle.

SBI chairman O P Bhatt said the announcement on infrastructure lending would help banks to finance such projects. “The treatment of annuities as tangible securities under BOT scheme will help attract private equity and give a boost to infrastructure sector,” he added.

UCO Bank chairman and managing director SK Goel echoed the view. “RBI move will reduce the burden of banks since loans to infrastructure projects often become substandard due to technical reasons. With only 15 per cent provisioning requirement, banks will be encouraged to lend more,” he said.

CMD of Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), Allen C A Pereira, said banks have been raising concerns over project delays and asset-liability mismatches in their infrastructure portfolio.

“Infrastructure projects are long gestation projects and several times things do not work out the way it was originally planned. Therefore, there was a strong case for easier provisioning norms for substandard assets. The RBI move is to ensure that banks do not suffer,” Tourism Finance Corporation of India CMD Archana Capoor said.

According to the planning commission, projected investment in infrastructure such as ports, airports, railways, power, irrigation, water supply and sanitation during the 11th plan (2007-11) is Rs 20,54,205 crore. The huge demand for funds can be gauged from the fact that the road ministry alone plans to award projects to build around 18,000 km during this financial year worth more than Rs 1,50,000 crore. Of this, 65 per cent of projects would be on BoT toll basis, 20 per cent on annuity and remaining 15 per cent on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model.

However, bankers said the RBI move was not to make banks meet their overall credit growth target when of offtake to sectors such as real estate has slumped. “These issues are not linked. The slowdown in overall lending and to the housing sector may be due to other reasons. Housing loan borrowers may be adopting a wait-and-watch approach,” Pereira of BoM said.

UCO Bank’s Goel agreed: “This is purely to encourage flow of funds to infrastructure sector. Overall credit growth and trends for specific sectors cannot be linked.”

Meanwhile, infrastructure companies have welcomed the decision to treat annuities and toll collection rights under BOT projects as tangible securities, saying the decision would give private road developers easier access to funds at lower interest rates.

At present, in BOT road projects, there is nothing that can be considered as tangible asset. This is because the concessionaire has to transfer the land either to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) or the state government after about 30 years of the agreement. Toll collection is also uncertain and therefore treated as an intangible asset. This makes it difficult for developers to obtain loans under the secured category.

“Now that the RBI has allowed annuity and toll collection rights as tangible securities, where there are provisions to compensate the project sponsor if a certain level of traffic is not achieved, it will make banks pro-active to lend to the sector,” Issac A George, chief financial officer of GVK Power and Infrastructure, said.

In its credit policy, RBI said annuity and toll collection rights should be treated as tangible securities subject to the condition that banks’ right to receive them is legally enforceable and irrevocable.

“Most banks offer loans to road developers under secured categories. However, there are lots of provisions and agreements that the parties work out among themselves. The developers also pay a higher interest rate of up to one and a half per cent for unsecured loans. The RBI announcement will help developers to save the additional interest cost and avoid legal troubles,” said Vishwas Udgirkar, an executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The move is also expected to lower the cost of road projects. “The RBI move to treat annuities and toll collection rights as tangible securities will create a healthy market for securitisation of toll portfolio, thereby reducing the cost of road projects after construction,” said Hemant Kanoria, chairman and managing director of Srei Infrastructure Finance.

Source: mydigitalfc.com

UPA-2 road plans hit a bump

October 26, 2009

NEW DELHI: This could be an indicator of how the ambitious highway development programme has been a non-starter in UPA-2. National Highways

Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded only 17 projects for 1,574 km since January against the plan of awarding 135 projects (14,384 km) in the current financial.

A presentation made by the highway regulator at a CII conference on consulting services on Tuesday pointed to the huge gap between the projection and actual pace of award of projects in the past 10 months. As per the presentation, only 17 projects costing Rs 17,757 crore were awarded including one project on BOT (annuity). It further showed that nine more projects on BOT (toll) and two on annuity modes were under the process of award. However, information was not available on how many highway projects were awarded since the change of guard in the ministry.

NHAI officials blamed the slow pace on certain “controversial clauses” and provisions in the request for quotation (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP) and the model concession agreement. “We had prepared a plan to award 60 projects last year but the economic downturn hit us hard and only 12-13 projects could be awarded. Many projects could not achieve financial closure even after awarding. This time it’s equally worse due to certain contractual provisions and clauses of the bid documents including the conflict of interest clause,” said a senior official.

Road, transport and highways minister Kamal Nath has already identified the interpretation of ‘conflict of interest’ as the biggest roadblock in the fast tracking of highway projects.

Transport secretary Brahm Dutt admitted on Tuesday that the award of projects was taking time while the ministry had set a target of achieving construction of 20 km highway per day.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Government moves towards open toll system for highways

October 22, 2009

Highway users, there is good news round the corner. Soon, you will not have to stop for payment at every toll plaza.

The government is on the verge of introducing an open road tolling (ORT) system in the country, by which toll payment would become a one-time transaction per trip. Gurgaon Toll Plaza

The toll fees will be deducted either from the users’ bank account, or it collected at the beginning of the journey, in the manner of pre-paid or post-paid phone connections.

The ministry of road, transport and highways (MoRTH)  will on October 31 start a six-month pilot project to test the efficacy of ORT on three stretches on the national highways.

Three systems of ORT — Active, Passive and Calm tolling systems — would be tested for suitability.

The active tolling system (a microwave tag-based system that sends or receives signals) will be tested on the Gurgaon-
Jaipur stretch. The passive system (also microwave-based, but only send signals) on the Panipat-Jalandhar stretch. The calm ORT system, an infrared-based system that sends and receives signals and works on an optical fibre network, will be tried on the Surat-Dasihar stretch.

“We will finalise a system that is best suited for India. The tests have to be very elaborate and that is why they will carry on for six months,” a senior official at the ministry, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, told Hindustan Times.

A third party will independently evaluate the three systems for suitability for use in India.

The new toll system will significantly reduce the time spent by commercial vehicles at tollbooths. For instance, a commercial vehicle plying between Delhi and Mumbai has to stop at 20 toll plazas.

On an average, there is a toll plaza every 60 km in India.

“It will be a very good thing. Separate lanes for the new toll system will result in significant saving of travel time,” said Anil K.G., resident consultant of Bangalore-based logistics company Transworld International, which runs a fleet of 150 trucks.

Source: hindustantimes.com


April 7, 2008


The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Thiru T.R. Baalu has said that the proposal for setting up of the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, as recommended by the Committee on Road Safety and Traffic Management, is in the final stages of approval. Similar Boards would be set up in the States also. Thiru Baalu was addressing the Seventeenth Meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to his Ministry here today.

Thiru Baalu also informed the Members that the Department of Road Transport and Highways is also contemplating constitution of a Committee of Experts to suggest a comprehensive scheme to improve the public transport system. The proposed scheme would stipulate certain reform measures to be undertaken by the States to be eligible for seeking financial assistance from the Central Government.

The Minister further informed that a ‘Working Group’ has been constituted by the Government to determine the technology for Advanced Traffic Management System, Advanced Travel or Information System and Electronic Toll collection. He said that a System is proposed to be installed for automatic traffic counting and classification to have better assessment of traffic moving on National highways. He said that these steps are being taken as part of Government’s efforts to give more emphasis on the modernisation of the toll collection system for which introduction of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is proposed to be gradually introduced.

Thiru Baalu said that a proposal has recently been approved for creation of State and National Registers of driving licenses and registration certificates envisaging inter-linking of all Regional Transport Offices. This would enable creation of authentic database for road transport sector, ensuring transparency in the process of registration of motor vehicles and issuance of driving licenses at a total cost of Rs. 148 crore. The project period is two years. It would check issuance of fake driving licenses / registration certificates and lead to better enforcement of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act / Rules, he added.

The Minister also informed that to formulate a scheme for trauma care facilities across the country in general and along the National Highways in particular, his Ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to work out a -2- combined plan of action. For this purpose, Thiru Baalu informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for setting up of an integrated network of Trauma Centres along the GQ, North-South and East-West Corridors of the National Highways by upgrading the trauma care facilities in 140 identified State Government Hospitals at a total cost of Rs.732.75 crore during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period. Our Ministry has to supply 140 ambulances and NHAI has to provide 50 Ambulances with advanced life support equipment to identified hospitals.

Giving an account of the progress made on the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), Thiru Baalu observed that upto February 2008, out of the 5,846 kms under the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Project, 4/6 laning of about 5,650 kms has been completed and works are in progress in the remaining 196 kms length. Out of about 7,300 kms length under the North-South and East-West Corridors, 4/6 laning was completed in 1,962 kms and works were under implementation in about 4,359 kms. Under NHDP Phase-III, out of 12,109 kms length, 4-laning has been completed in 330 kms and works are in progress in about 1,745 kms and under NHDP Phase-V, out of 6,500 kms length, 6-laning was in progress in about 1,030 kms.

So far 86 projects valued at Rs.29,576.94 crore have been awarded on BOT (Toll) basis. Out of these, 34 projects have been completed and 52 projects are in progress. Also, so far 25 projects valued at Rs. 9,411.88 crore have been awarded on BOT (Annuity) basis; out of which, 8 projects have been completed and 17 projects are in progress, the Minister informed.

The Members of Parliament who participated in the meeting are: S/Shri M.R. Reddy, S. Ajaya Kumar, L.R. Patil, Hari Kewal Prasad, M.L. Mandal, Tiruchi Siva and Ms. Mabel Rebello.

Source: pib.nic.in

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