NHAI projects Rs 28,000 cr expenditure

March 25, 2008

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has projected an expenditure of Rs 28,000 crore for 2008-09 to complete its ongoing projects and the new projects announced under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). To meet this projected expenditure, the authority is in advanced stages of talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of Rs 400 crore. This is in addition to the Rs 1,900 crore it is expecting from multilateral institutions through the central government’s budgetary allocation. Rs 14,000 crore is expected to be contributed by the private sector through public-private partnerships (PPPs) while Rs 7,000 crore is projected to come from fuel surcharge. Besides, the NHAI is planning to refloat the 54 EC tax-free capital gains bond for 2008-09 with a ceiling of Rs 3,700 crore. NHAI officials say the new 54 EC tax-free bonds will be launched once the Finance Act is passed in Parliament. In the current financial year, the NHAI has managed to mop up more than Rs 200 crore through the 54 EC bonds. Officials expect it to mop up nearly Rs 300 crore by the end of the current financial year. Didar Singh, member (finance committee), NHAI, said: “We are quite comfortable with our financial position to meet all the requirements of the various projects under implementation.” Some ongoing projects that are expected to be completed in 2008-09 include the 56.25-km Garhmukteshwar-Muradabad expressway, the 32-km Chennai bypass, the 15-km Chennai-Ennore expressway and the 14.35-km Jawaharlal Nehru Port (phase-II) project. In 2005, the Committee on Infrastructure had prepared a comprehensive plan envisaging a mammoth investment of Rs 2,20,000 crore under the NHDP on concessions or contracts to be awarded by 2012. According to the plan, projects under second, third and fifth phases of the NHDP are expected to be completed by December 2012, while concessions or contracts for fourth, sixth and seventh phases would be awarded by December 2012 and work completed by December 2015. Source: http://www.business-standard.com 


March 19, 2008

Four-laning of National Highway (NH)-9 in Andhra Pradesh is being taken up in a phased manner. Hyderabad-Machillipatnam section of this NH is being taken up for four-laning by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Build, Operate and Transfer(BOT) basis under National Highway Development Project(NHDP) Phase-III. Four-laning in a length of 31 km from Hyderabad to Sangareddy is in progress on BOT basis. These works are targeted for completion by December, 2011. Consultancy services for examining the viability of 4/6 laning of Sangareddy-Zaheerabad section of this NH on Design, Build, Finance and Operate(DBFO) pattern is under progress. Further action in this regard will depend upon the outcome of the said study. This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.  Source: http://pib.nic.in

NHAI likely to issue contracts for 10,000km of highways soon

March 16, 2008

These contracts will be a part of phase III and phase V of the government’s highway project New Delhi: The United Progressive Alliance government wants to award, in the next few months, contracts to build up to 10,000km of national highways, equal to almost 70% the 14,500km of national highways on which similar contracts have been issued since 2000.Long Road Ahead (Graphic)The decision to award the contracts, worth at least Rs70,000 crore, comes with the general election likely to be held either late this year or early in 2009, although an official at the agency that regulates the highways sector in India claimed that this was because procedural issues related to the contracts had now been “ironed out”.The official at the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, added that since 2000, when the country’s National Highways Development Programme or NHDP was launched, the regulator had awarded contracts for the construction of 14,500km of highways worth around Rs80,000 crore and that work on 8,500km had been completed.The contracts that will be issued are part of phase III and phase V of NHDP and involve upgrading existing national highways into four-lane and six-lane ones. Five of the seven phases of NHDP involve upgrading existing highways.The stretches will first be offered to private companies to be developed under the ‘build-operate-transfer’ model where the companies will build the highways, operate them and collect toll for a certain period of time, and transfer them to the government at the end of a certain period of time called the concession period. In case this fails to draw bids, the projects will be offered on the ‘engineering-procurement-construction’ method, where private companies build the roads for a stipulated fee but will not have any stake in the project.“Detailed project reports are being created for these stretches and they are expected to be awarded in the next few months,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified. “There was a lull in award of projects because the policy was being ironed out. But now that things are falling into place, you will see more and more projects on offer,” the official added.For almost a year, NHAI has gone slow in awarding projects.“Till now we were waiting for ironing out procedural issues such as preparation of the new model concession agreement and setting up a two-stage bidding process. Those matters have been taken care of now. And now the only serious impediment in the way of awarding these contracts is clearing of the toll policy,” said an NHAI official.The toll policy is to be cleared by the law ministry and this could take a couple of months, the official added.Analysts however said that while the agency was capable of awarding 8,000km of construction a year, exactly how much would get done depends on a number of factors including a legal challenge to the government’s bid process.The National Highways Builders Federation, an industry body, filed a suit in January against guidelines issued by the finance ministry and ratified by the Prime Minister’s committee on infrastructure that favour bidders who have executed large projects. The norms, reported by Mint on 28 December, cap the number of bidders at six, with some individual exceptions.“There are three factors that could affect the process (of awarding contracts),” said Kuljit Singh, a partner with the transaction advisory services practice of audit and consulting firm Ernst and Young Pvt. Ltd.“Technical detailed project reports usually take a while to prepare. Also, things generally slow down a little in an election year. Also, depending on what the court finds (in the case where the National Highways Builders Federation has challenged NHAI’s bidding norms), the process could be affected,” he added.Source: http://www.livemint.com 

NHAI starts work on Rs6,672 cr expressway

March 6, 2008

The expressway itself will be 400km long and will cost around Rs16.68 crore per km New Delhi: The National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, has started preliminary work on awarding its biggest contra-ct yet, worth Rs6,672 crore, for an expressway between Vadodara in Gujarat and Mumbai.Gujarat is among the most industrialized states in the country and a major hub for petrochemical and chemical companies. Mumbai is the country’s financial and commercial capital and is also home to India’s busiest port. The Vadodara-Gujarat route is a busy one in terms of freight traffic.Last year, NHAI awarded two contracts to IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd and Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) to upgrade stretches of highway between Bharuch and Surat and Vadodara and Baruch, respectively. These stretches are part of the existing highway between Mumbai and Vadodara that runs parallel to the proposed expressway.Officials in NHAI admit that traffic on the route is growing at a scorching pace.“We were always aware that an expressway would be built between Mumbai and Vadodara,” said V.D. Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB Infrastructure.The expressway itself will be 400km long and will cost around Rs16.68 crore per km. The largest contract awarded before this by NHAI was for Rs2,500 crore to build a highway between Panipat and Jalandhar, according to A.V. Sinha, member (technical), NHAI.NHAI, the regulator for the Indian highways sector and the entity responsible for the award of contracts to build roads, will appoint a consultant for the project and decide on other contours of the expressway by July. The call for bids will come after that and the expressway is expected to be completed by 2015.As is the case with most NHAI projects, the expressway will be built on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis wh-ere a private developer builds the road, operates it for a certain period, and then transfers ownership to the state.“The expressway will charge around 30% more in toll rates and, so, not all vehicles would shift to the expressway (from the highway),” said Sinha.The stretches owned by the IRB and L&T consortia are currenly being upgraded and are expected to be completed by July 2009.“There is a revenue share agreement between NHAI and us that if traffic exceeds 108,000 vehicles per day, we share that with the authority. By the time this expressway is built, we would have reached that mark,” Mhaiskar said.Mhaiskar estimated current traffic in the Bharuch-Surat stretch at between 60,000 and 70,000 vehicles per day.Source: http://www.livemint.com

Uttar Pradesh govt plans five more expressways

March 6, 2008

Combined length of 1,400km proposed; roads will be in vicinity of highways being developed by NHAI

The Uttar Pradesh government is planning five more expressways in the state even before it signs the concession agreement for the Rs40,000 crore Ganga Expressway project awarded in January.

And yet again, just as in the case of the Ganga Expressway, the proposed highways are coming up in the vicinity of the highways being developed by the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, the roads regulator.

“We will not approach the Centre for any kind of assistance in funding. As in the case of the Ganga Expressway, we will raise resources for these projects by leveraging land,” said an official, who was involved in the planning of the Ganga Expressway project as well, but did not wish to be identified.

Country roads: The Greater Noida expressway. UP had awarded the tender for the Rs40,000 crore Ganga Expressway project, which will connect Greater Noida with Baflia, to Jaypee Infratech Ltd in January. (Madhu Kapparath / Mint)

Country roads: The Greater Noida expressway. UP had awarded the tender for the Rs40,000 crore Ganga Expressway project, which will connect Greater Noida with Baflia, to Jaypee Infratech Ltd in January. (Madhu Kapparath / Mint)

The tender for the Ganga Expressway project, which will connect Greater Noida with Ballia, was awarded to Jaypee Infratech Ltd in January. The concessionaire is expected to be leased around 7,000ha of land for commercial development in order to construct the expressway.

Jaypee had sought land worth Rs293.55 crore for property development along the expressway in order to construct the expressway.

The five proposed expressways will have a combined length of around 1,400km.

“We do not have a clear idea as to how much land will be required to be set aside for these projects, but we will be able to work out those details only after a few months,” the same official said.

The proposed expressways include the Greater Noida-Saharanpur-Dehradun (in partnership with the Uttarakhand state government) stretch apart from Jhansi-Lucknow, Lucknow-Gorakhpur, Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow and Farrukhabad-Kotdwar expressways.

The proposal for these projects is being developed by the state public works department. “First we will seek environmental clearance for these projects and then the proposals will go to the state cabinet for approval,” the official said.

Planning Commission member Anwarul Hoda said that the apex planning organization in the country has not yet been informed about the state’s plans to go in for more expressways. “We have not been told about these projects,” he said.

Earlier, the Planning Commission had held discussions with the UP administration on the Ganga Expressway project in order to see whether the project linked up with existing highway networks in the state. It gave the go-ahead despite the overlap with the highways being developed by NHAI.

“Tolling on these roads will barely pay for operations and management expenses,” said a consultant with a project management company, who did not wish to be quoted. “Remember, these roads are along the same alignment as existing NHAI national highways, which means traffic is going to be shared. So, the capital cost recovery will come from the land component only. If you are in the business of building highways, then why do you need all this land.”

Source: http://www.livemint.com

A capital cost of capacity

March 3, 2008

Demand is growing faster than anticipated. And there is such dearth of infrastructure that new capacities will be absorbed promptly

Last month, the showpiece urban transportation project, the 28km Delhi-Gurgaon expressway was inaugurated. Another big-ticket project, Bangalore International Airport Ltd, is set to begin operations in March. In the case of the expressway, traffic on the first day was what was projected for 2013. In Bangalore, the passenger traffic will cross 11.3 million—a number initially projected for 2015—by the end of the year. In both cases, capacities for the first year are inadquate.

Clearly, the project planners in both instances got their projections quite wrong. But, if one steps back, a more complex picture emerges. The most obvious fact is that demand is growing faster than anticipated. And there is such dearth of infrastructure that new capacities will be absorbed promptly. In contrast, China seems to be a case of excess capacities.

Another factor being debated is that this is not a simple case of an owner-operator failing to anticipate traffic. Any entrepreneur would see the obvious and plan for it. Instead, it is argued, given the cost of capital, one shouldn’t expect anything different. Our real interest rate—corrected for inflation—is about 7%, probably among the highest in the world. Hence, the entrepreneur’s action would be an error of commission—to minimise project risk.

The other side of the coin is that the pricing of public services is subsidized, largely to ensure that the less well off can avail the benefits. In other words, far more people can afford to consume these services than otherwise. While not making a case for leaving out these segments, there is need to strike a correction.

The reason is simple.

Subsidized consumption, like other political largesse, comes at a fiscal cost. Not only does this push up the cost of capital, it also—since government borrowings inevitably expand money supply—stokes inflationary pressures, hurting the very people that the government set about protecting. In China it is the opposite, where fiscal profligacy subsidizes investment.

Both extremes are unsustainable. Given India’s mixed socio-economic demography, there is a case for revisiting subsidized consumption. A good beginning would be if the political parties arrive at a consensus that ensures bad economics will no longer be passed off as sensitive politics.

A precedent exists. Gujarat, in the early 1990s, had come out with a document detailing an all-party commitment to structural reforms in the state. That no doubt underlines the economic success of the state over the past decade.

Source: livemint.com

State government refuses to reveal land rates for Ganga Expressway

February 29, 2008

Lucknow, February 28 The state government today refused to inform the assembly the rates of compensation for land acquisition in the Ganga Expressway project.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma maintained that compensation will be according to the agreement between the farmers and developers.But he refused to clarify if the price offered will be the circle rate, market rate or a mutually negotiated rate.The government also refused to reply why the farmers in Agra — whose land is being acquired for the Taj Expressway Project — were being forced by the administration to accept a compensation of Rs 2-3 lakh per hectare, when the market rate was over Rs 40 lakh per hectare.Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, RLD member Dharm Singh alleged that the farmers were brutally beaten up by the police PAC when they went to meet the divisional commissioner to lodge their protest on February 24. He also alleged that the farmers are being pressurised by the local administration and police to accept the cheques.Denying any incident of lathicharge on farmers in Agra, Verma, however, did not comment on the compensation rate.Earlier, the minister had assured the assembly that work on the ambitious Rs 40,000 crore Ballia-Greater Noida Ganga Expressway will start only after getting the No Objection Certificates from different departments — environment, pollution board, forest and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).He said the developer had been directed by the government to get the NOCs before commencing work. “The condition is there in the agreement made with the developer,” he added.The minister also contradicted the Opposition claim that over 21 lakh trees will be felled for the project. “There is no question of cutting down a large number of trees. Besides, the mega project will free over 3.40 lakh hectares of land from the grip of floods,” he underlined.Answering a question on industrial development in the state, the minister said between March 2004 and March 2007, investment amounting to Rs 5555.30 crore has been flowed in.Without giving details, he said 347 big and medium industrial units had been set up in that period.Asked how the government will meet the target of Rs 5 lakh crore investment in the next 5 yrs, he said bad law and order in the past was the chief reason behind the dismal progress of investment. Source:  http://www.expressindia.com

South India�s road to future may soon be completed

February 16, 2008

South India�s much-touted road to the future may be finally here. Industry in Bangalore is pushing for the completion of the expressway between the city and Mysore.

After 13 years, work is speeding up on the road connecting Bangalore and Mysore, popularly known as the Bangalore Mysore infrastructure corridor or BMIC. The road will cut the driving time from the three and half hours to just 90 minutes.

The BMIC is still mired in controversy over land acquisition but all that may change soon. We hear from sources that the governor of Karnataka is taking a special interest in the project and the sudden activity on the project is partly due to pressure from the industry. Sources say the governor is speeding up land acquisition and clearances from forest, revenue and other departments. And though nice officials declined to comment on camera, they say they are glad that industry is finally taking a stand.

“I think it’s the single most important project for Bangalore. It will not only provide more employment but also improve the quality of life of the people of Bangalore. ” says Mohandas Pai, director-HR, Infosys.

“If you want private players to develop roads, the government has to address these land issues very seriously.” Adds  Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon.

The Nandi infrastructure corridor enterprise had envisaged a four-phase project that included a 111-km super expressway to Mysore with 5 satellite towns on the way, a 41 km peripheral ring road on the outskirts of Bangalore and a 9.5 km connecting road to the expressway.

Today only two stretches of the peripheral ring road are open and the company is not collecting toll, as the link is not complete. But despite losses of over Rs 10 crore a month,  officials are glad there’s been some progress.

Source: moneycontrol.com

India’s Largest Toll Plaza – Delhi-Gurgaon

January 28, 2008

Kapsch Metro JV has commissioned the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway with 3 Toll Plazas with a total of 59 toll lanes. The largest toll plaza has a total of 32 + 4 reversible toll lanes.

The Project has a total of 24 ETC with some of them mixed type with cash and smart card facility ; the remaining being cash and smart Card type.

All lanes are equipped with Automatic vehicle classification systems . All the three plazas are interconnected through a WAN.

India’s Largest Toll Plaza -Delhi-Gurgaon is in operation!

The First Kapsch Toll System In India Finalized: Toll System For One Of The Most Frequented Highways Is Up And Running.

Since End of January 2008 runs the operation of the first road toll project of Kapsch TrafficCom AG in India with no problems. Within a joint venture structure – the Kapsch Metro Joint Venture – Kapsch TrafficCom alongside the Indian Metro Road Systems Ltd. fitted one section of the National Highway No. 8 with a modern manual/electronic toll system. This highway covers the route from Delhi to Gurgaon and is one of the most frequented roads in the region. The central toll plaza with altogether 32 toll lanes is one of the largest toll stations in all of Asia.

Since January 2008, the road from Delhi to Gurgaon features a modern manual/electronic toll system based on microwave technology (CEN 278). Completion of this toll system marks the successful finalization of the first road toll project of Kapsch TrafficCom in India. The principal, licensee DS Constructions Ltd., decided to award the contract to the Kapsch Metro Joint Venture in September 2006.

“For us, the selection of KapschMetro JV as a technology partner was an important step in the management of the traffic volumes on the project. The technology selected is stable, secure and has processed over 3 million transactions to date with no problems. The installation of the equipment was done in difficult circumstances with live traffic of over 130,000 per day travelling through the lanes during the installation period. The equipment implementation of the Delhi-Gurgaon toll project is a success story, Kapsch Metro JV delivered the project on schedule and to our complete satisfaction“, explains Allan Le Roux, Chief Operations Officer- Tolling of DS Constructions Ltd.

“Kapsch has already performed successful projects in India in the past, contracting GSM-R work for Indian Railroads, the Indian national railway system. With this commission, we were able to enter the Indian toll system market within an extremely short time, owing our success largely to our staff’s wealth of know-how and to the many years of experience we have in the Asian area. For me, the route that has now been completed is just the beginning of numerous further business ventures in Asia“, says Erwin Toplak, Board Member of Kapsch TrafficCom AG.

The Toll Road project is constructed on a 20 year BOT basis and has a length of 27 km long and rates among the most heavily trafficked projects in the region and provides important connectivity to the Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi and the “New Millennium City” Gurgaon which boasts as having one of the worlds biggest shopping malls! The three toll plazas on the project have a total of 56 toll lanes. The main toll plaza located on the Delhi Haryana Border has 32 toll lanes. Motorists are able to use cash or use a Smart Card in at all lanes except the 4 dedicated non stop lanes with exclusive payment via microwave TAGs.

Kapsch TrafficCom AG is a global provider of innovative road traffic telematic systems, products, and services. Kapsch TrafficCom develops and supplies electronic toll collection systems, in particular multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) systems, and is also able to act as the technical and commercial manager for operating these systems. Further, Kapsch TrafficCom offers traffic management solutions (with the focus on road safety and traffic control), electronic access control systems, and parking space management. Kapsch TrafficCom has established itself among the global market leaders for ETC systems with more than 140 installed toll systems in 30 countries in Europe, Australia, Latin America, the Asian/Pacific Area, and South Africa, which altogether feature more than eleven million transponders and about 11’000 fitted lanes. Kapsch TrafficCom is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and has subsidiaries and representative offices in 18 countries.

Vienna on 27th March, 2008

For further information, please contact:
Brigitte Herdlicka
Public Relations & Sponsoring
Kapsch Group
Phone: +43 (0) 50 811 2705
1120 Vienna, Wagenseilgasse 1
E-Mail: [email protected]

From Delhi to Gurgaon in 15-20 mins

December 19, 2007

NEW DELHI/GURGAON: If you spend hours fretting and fuming while trying to get from Gurgaon to Delhi and vice versa, here’s some good news. On December 31, all flyovers on the 27-km Gurgaon-Delhi expressway will be opened. That includes the one curving across the road to IGI airport, which means going to catch a flight would also become less of a pain.

National Highways Authority of India claimed this deadline is final — there will be no extension. Toll on this expressway — which will reduce Delhi-Gurgaon travel time to 15-20 minutes from the current hour-long agony — will not be charged right away. In fact, talks are still on to fix the toll amount as well as its modalities.

While the final toll amount will be announced shortly, indications are that it will be Rs 15-16 for the entire stretch, but 50% less for vehicles regularly commuting between Gurgaon and Delhi and the other way round. In other words, Gurgaon residents working in Delhi and Delhi residents working in Gurgaon would have to shell out Rs 7.50 or Rs 8 — possibly not such a high amount considering the convenience.

Two-wheelers, three-wheelers and all slow-moving traffic will not be allowed on the expressway. These will have to take the service lane adjacent to the expressway.

NHAI’s member, technical, Nirmaljeet Singh said: “As of now all the flyovers except the one at Palam are operational. This too will be open before 2008.” Said another official, “We have put the expansion joints and now curing is in progress. Just a few things remain to be done and they will be done in the year’s last week when traffic will be less on certain days because of government holidays.”

Singh added that the loop connecting to the domestic airport would be operational by the year-end. This means the current jam in the approach to the airport would ease up somewhat. It will fully clear up once the new domestic terminal being constructed between 1A and 1B is completed.

While toll tax on vehicles will be levied only after the independent consultant gives a satisfactory report of the working of the toll plazas, the one near Delhi is a state-of-the-art 32-lane plaza, designed for easy traffic flow.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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