In a step which can only be described as a revival of private investment in the highway sector, multiple bids have been received by six projects, three of which have been awarded after developers quoted upfront annual payment, also known as premium to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) totalling about Rs 54 crore, followed by a sign of revival of private investment in the highway sector.

Another project in Uttar Pradesh (Agra-Etawah) has been waiting for the highest premium of Rs 81 crore and the work will be awarded soon. While in the rest two cases, developers have sought contribution from the government.

“The highway sector was facing a crisis of confidence and all the stakeholders were in complete disarray when we took over. But now investors’ confidence has revived. Public private partnership (PPP) is picking up, the private sector is evincing interest and there is a major turnaround,” Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said. He also highlighted on 8,000 kilometres road projects worth Rs one lakh crore were awarded by the government in 2014-15.

The government has targeted to award about 3,000 km on PPP mode out of its total target of 10,000 km for the financial year 2015-16.

Gadkari added that the ministry has set an ambitious target of awarding highway projects worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore in the next six months.

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