NHAI to raise ₹1 lakh cr in 5 years, toll collection through GPS being planned
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to raise ₹1 lakh crore through monetisation of highways under the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) mode in the next five years, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.
The road transport, highways and MSMEs minister also said electronic toll collection is being planned through GPS for exact distance traversed and not through toll plazas.
"NHAI intends to raise ₹1 lakh crore through the TOT plan of asset monetisation in the next five years. We are getting excellent response and have got a lot of new models and pension funds besides investors from abroad," Gadkari said while participating in the 25th Wharton India Economic Forum.
NHAI is authorised to monetise public-funded national highway projects, which are operational and are collecting toll for at least one year after commercial operation, through the TOT model on a case-to-case basis.
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The minister said, "Toll collection through GPS will be done in which image of car will be captured and toll will be subtracted from user on the basis of stretch of roads used by any particular vehicle."
He said that after electronic toll collection through FASTag, there has been an increase in toll revenue. The collection through FASTag, which is nearly 75 per cent at present, will be taken to about 98 per cent within a month, Gadkari added.
Gadkari said his ministry aims at taking road building target to 40 km a day by March and added that the NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of express highways.
These include 9,000 km of economic corridors, and 2,000 km each of strategic border roads and coastal roads. Besides these, 100 tourist destinations and 45 towns would be connected through highways.
The minister said that despite challenges posed by Covid-19, highways construction was going on in full swing.
Welcoming the investors to invest in India's infrastructure sector, the minister said a red-carpet awaits them and assures them of high returns as compared to other places globally.
The minister said 35 multimodal logistics parks are on the anvil while scrapping policy for vehicles is in the final stages, and exuded confidence that India soon will be number one manufacturing hub for vehicles.
He said the focus of the government is to make India a hub for green fuel in order to cut on annual ₹8 lakh crore huge crude imports and the plan is also to take the ethanol economy from ₹22,000 crore at present to ₹2 lakh crore. Besides, emphasis was also on electricity-driven public transport, he said.
He said the ₹12,000-crore Char Dham project will be completed by this year while a city like Davos is also being planned near Zojila.
The minister said his ministry has finalised 2,478 projects worth ₹20.33 lakh crore under the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
He said 22 green expressways are being built by his ministry, including the ₹1-lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai expressway.
About MSMEs, the minister said the aim is to create 5 crore jobs in the next five years, in addition to 11 crore jobs already created and enhance exports to 60 per cent from 48 per cent at present.
"A red carpet is ready for investors for bringing in technology and investments," he said.