The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will propose a rolling plan for highway development in the country, which can be reviewed every two to three years to see that highway building is rationalised and the authority gets the maximum value out of building a new road, chairman Sukhbir Singh Sandhu has said.The idea is to have a highway building plan that moves on realistic development, and in tandem with developments in other infrastructure sectors, whether it is of airports, or industrial parks, he said.“We are proposing a national plan, which will be rolling, and is reviewed every two to three years on the basis of changing traffic dynamics and other developments,” Sandhu told ET. 81980586“We will soon be approaching the ministry (of road transport and highways) on this,” he added.Rationalisation of highway building was mentioned by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech for FY20.“The government will carry out a comprehensive restructuring of the National Highway programme to ensure that the National Highway Grid of desirable length and capacity is created using a financeable model,” Sitharaman had said.Sandhu said that such a plan will help the authority derive the maximum value in terms of toll collection while building a new road.BOT & Asset MonetisationSandhu said that the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model has finally seen success after changes in the model concession agreement for such projects, and bids for at least two more BOT projects will be invited soon.In January, NHAI, which is under the ministry of road transport and highways, had unveiled a revised model concession agreement for BOT projects, in a bid to draw larger participation from investors. In BOT projects, private sector developers build a road using their own funds, operate it and then transfer it to the government after a specified period.“We have tested the new model concession agreement and it’s a success, the highest bidder is offering us 11% revenue share,” Sandhu said. “We will put out at least two more projects immediately on BOT mode,” he added.Sandhu said that so far as the asset monetisation exercise of the authority is concerned, it will go for toll-operate transfer, infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), and toll securitisation through SPV for monetising its assets.“We filed (InvIT application) on 31st March with Sebi and we hope to get approvals in three weeks, and by mid-May, we should have the money with us,” Sandhu said.He added that more assets worth Rs 4,000-5,000 crore will be added to the InvIT in FY22.On Dispute SettlementSandhu also said that the authority has settled 60 cases through conciliation for Rs 5,312 crore against a claim of Rs 14,206 crore in FY21. Since setting up of conciliation committees in FY18, NHAI has settled 95 claims by contractors worth Rs 30,377 crore for an amount of Rs8,991 crore. Outgo as part of arbitration claims stand at 25-30% of claim amount, he said.On Fastag PenetrationSandhu said that the FASTag penetration has reached 95% across national highways on an average, with several highways going up to 97-98%. He said that the authority has now signed memorandums of understanding with several state governments for collection of toll through FASTags on state highways as well.

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