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TOT auctions likely to be postponed for the second time

TOT auctions likely to be postponed for the second time

NEW DELHI: The bid submission for the third round of the Toll-Operate-transfer (TOT) projects is likely to see a second extension as investors seek more time for evaluating bids, officials said. The government, however, is confident of attracting a good response from investors after the second round drew a tepid response.

The National Highways Building Authority of India (NHAI) in June this year invited bids for a cumulative 500 kms of road stretches looking to raise a minimum of Rs 4,995 crores.

The projects are spread across Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

This is the second time that the bid submission is to be extended. Prior to this, the bid submission was due on September 11, which was extended to September 30.

“We are going to extend the bid submission deadline by a month,” NHAI Chairman NN Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event here on Friday.

The government introduced the TOT model in 2016 to monetise publicly funded highways. Under the programme, investors make a one-time lump sum payment in return for long-term toll collection rights. The highways ministry plans to aggressively monetize its assets under the TOT mode.

ET reported on September 12th that leading infrastructure investors including Cube Highways, Macquarie Group,

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and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) had sought more time for evaluating the highways ministry’s third bundle of TOT projects.

“We are sure of gathering massive response in this round. The delay is not from the government’s end. It is because investors are asking for more time,” said another government official who did not wish to be identified.

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