NHAI finds no bidders for 6 projects
After a very successful 2011-12, in terms of the number of projects it awarded, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has failed to receive any bid for as many as six projects in the recent months. NHAI saw a huge demand for its projects last fiscal, when it awarded a large number of projects at a premium.
"We have failed to attract any bids for six projects in the recent times. One of them was during this month and the rest five were in May. The last time we had seen no demand for our projects was post slowdown in December 2008. All these projects will go for rebid now," said a senior NHAI official, on condition of anonymity.
In December 2008, when India was gripped by the global financial slowdown, the authority had failed to get any response for 13 of the 60 projects it had put up for bidding.
This loss of interest for road projects is more than just bad news for the road transport ministry and the highways authority, who have to meet a target set by the Prime Minister to award 9,500 km of road projects in the current fiscal.
In July, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scaled up the target for building national highways, from 8,800 km announced in this year's Budget to 9,500 km.
The upward revision in target was done after the road transport ministry, riding high on the huge demand in the last fiscal, claimed to have achieved the target.
The road transport ministry, with NHAI, awarded the highest-ever 7,957 km of road projects in 2011-12. Of the 51 projects awarded by NHAI in 2011-12, as many as 31 were at a premium.
Companies bid at a premium if they are confident the toll revenue accruing to them would more than offset their costs.
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