‘Bharatmala To Hurt Business Of 25 Debt-Laden Toll Projects’
The Bharatmala project, which is touted as the biggest infrastructure project in the history of India, is expected to impact businesses of as many as 25 toll projects across the country. According to a report by rating agency Icra, these toll road projects, with a debt of Rs 19,435 crore, are at risk due to the planned economic corridors under the Bharatmala project.
Under the project, the Central government plans to construct 34,800 kilometre (km) of highways over the next five years at an estimated cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore. Shortest-possible routes would be built between two points to ensure easy, quick navigation and saving on time and money.
Bearing the brunt
Once constructed, the some of the routes will directly compete with toll stretches of some of the existing build-operate-transfer (BOT) road projects, the Icra report says. The report studies the impact 44 economic corridors proposed under Bharatmala will have on the existing road network in terms of traffic diversions, in turn adding to the debt servicing ability of some of the toll projects.
"There are 24 BOT (build, operate and transfer) and one OMT (operate, maintain and transfer road) projects whose traffic could get affected due to the proposed corridors. These 25 projects involving Rs 19,435 crore of debt would be at risk as a result of new economic corridors under Bharatmala Pariyojana," Icra report reads.
The report suggests that of the 44 projects, 21 would partially or fully impact the existing routes, the remaining 23 would require an upgrade on the existing route cause diversions.
The break-up: The project includes 34,800 km of roads which includes national highways, border coastal areas, western and eastern border roads. There will be 9,000 km of economic corridors, 6,000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes, 5,000 km of national corridors efficiency improvement, 2,000 km of border road connectivity, 800 km of expressways and 10,000 km of balance NHDP projects.
Areas covered: The project will cover almost the entire country.
Construction: While the project was announced in in July 2015, the work on the project has yet to start. The first part of the seven phases is expected to be completed by 2018-end. In the first phase, 1,000 km of these proposed border roads will be completed. Similarly, 2,100 km of coastal roads and 2,000 km of port connectivity will be completed in the first phase, promoting tourism and industrial development.
With inputs from Housing News