New Delhi: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids for India’s first toll monetization project valued at Rs6,258 crore.

Interested companies can submit their bids by 9 January, according to the bid document published on Saturday.

The first bunch of tolls to be monetized also known as toll-operate-transfer (ToT) comprises nine toll roads spanning 680 km across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat and will be bid for a tenure of 30 years. According to the bid document, the concession period of 30 years could be reduced by more than five years or increased by more than 10 years on mutual consent of the both the concessionaire and NHAI.

Under this newly launched ToT model, the rights of collection of user-fee or toll on selected national highway built through public funding are proposed to be auctioned and assigned to a concessionaire for a period of 30-years against an upfront payment of a lump-sum amount to the government. The concessionaire is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the national highways during the tenure.

The project, a brainchild of minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, had got Cabinet approval in August 2016. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) authorized NHAI to monetize 75 publicly funded national highways that are operational and have been generating toll revenues for at least two years.

According to rating agency ICRA Ltd, these 75 projects with a road length of 4,376km can yield around Rs35,600 crore under ToT model.

The road ministry had informed the Parliament recently that the project has drawn interest from several international investors including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd, Singapore’s state-run investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd, Hastings Funds Management Ltd, Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management Pte. Ltd, Mizuho Asia Infra Capital, Macquarie Group Ltd, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc., Equirus Capital Pte. Ltd, I Squared Capital Advisors LLC, JP Morgan Asset Management Inc., and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.

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