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Representational image (Photo: Mint)
Representational image (Photo: Mint)

NHAI invites bids for fifth round of Toll Operate Transfer auction

  • Last date of submission of bids is 23 Dec
  • In a first, the highway authority did not disclose the initial estimated concession value or the reserve price

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday said it has invited bids for fifth bundle of the Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) auction. Last date of submission of bids is December 23.

Separate bids have been invited for two bundles of highway stretches across Gujarat. The cumulative length of these stretches is 159.5 km. Palanpur- Radhanpur-Samkhiyali stretch has been divided into two bundles-- TOT Bundle-5(A-1) and TOT Bundle-5(A-2). This is in line with the government’s plan to offer smaller bundles of road projects, in its attempt to attract participation of smaller Indian companies in projects.

The total contract period of TOT is 20 years, in which concessionaire will be required to maintain and operate the stretch. “In lieu of this, concessionaire will get right to collect and retain user fee for these stretches for 20 years in accordance with prescribed fee rates under national highway fee rules," the highway authority said in a statement.

In a first, the highway authority did not disclose the initial estimated concession value (ICEV) or the reserve price. The ICEV will be disclosed, after selecting the bidder.

TOT is part of the government’s asset monetization programme, in which, already operational national highways are provided to private entities on a long-term concession basis. The operator has a right to collect user fee and has an obligation to operate and maintain the respective highway stretches during the concession period. The one who wins the bid garners toll revenue during the time period.

As many as 75 public-funded national highways with road length of around 4,500 km have been identified for monetization, under this model. The first round of TOT in February 2018 was a success. The winning bidder Macquarie offered 9,691 crore as against the expectation of 6,258 crore for 700 km highways. However, NHAI cancelled the second bundle that was spread over 584 km over four states as the bids that were received were far below expectation. While the third round was won by Singapore-based Cube Highways.

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