High Number Of Tolls On Single Road Could Create Problems For New Projects: ICRA
A truck stops at a toll booth at the Manesar toll plaza on National Highway 8 (NH 8) in Manesar, Haryana, India. (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

High Number Of Tolls On Single Road Could Create Problems For New Projects: ICRA

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High concentration of tolls on a single highway stretches, especially with a history of agitations, could create concerns for the fourth round of projects to be monetised under the toll operate transfer mode, ratings agency ICRA said on Thursday.

The fourth bundle under TOT has seven stretches totalling around 401 kilometres spread across five states.

In terms of toll collection revenue concentration, single stretch (Pimpalgaon-Nashik-Gonde, or PNG) accounts for around 35 percent of total collections of the bundle while the top two of the seven stretches account for around 55 percent, ICRA said in a statement.

“PNG could be Achilles heel for fourth TOT bundle given PNG’s chequered history of political agitations disrupting toll collections which consequently resulted in termination of concession agreement by earlier BOT concessionaire,” it said.

Rajeshwar Burla, Vice President and Associate Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA said that the two recent TOT bundles if successful would not only help National Highways Authority of India raise around Rs 9,000 crore but also invigorate it to speed up asset monetisation process especially after cancellation of the second bundle bidding on account of lower-than-anticipated response from bidders.

“As far as success of fourth bundle is concerned, a lot would depend on how investors view PNG,” he said.

It said the fourth bundle is similar to third bundle in terms of toll collection potential and asset concentration.

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