Back to basics at road ministry with EPC model
Highway projects of 3,055 km were awarded through the EPC mode in 2005-06 but it rapidly lost its sheen. The next year, only 345 km were awarded, slipping to 89 km in the following year. During these years, build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects have generally seen an increase, peaking at 6,491 km in 2011-12.
Under an EPC contract, the government funds the construction and the road developer only has to develop the project in a stipulated period of time. In the BOT mode, the developer invests in the project and recoups it either through tolling rights or annuity.
Feedback Infra chairman Vinayak Chatterjee said the lack of investor interest in PPP projects due to financial reasons and projects not making commercial sense to the developers are major reasons why the government is shifting back to EPC mode. The road ministry has set a target to award 8,800 km of highway projects this fiscal.
The shift from PPP (BOT) mode to EPC has been necessitated in the wake of a constant fall in the number of bidders on the BOT toll
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