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New Delhi, Jan. 30

THE National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday signed two concession agreements with Reliance Energy Ltd-promoted special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to four-lane two national highway sections on NH-7 in Tamil Nadu on Build-Operate-Transfer basis.

Both the projects fall on the North-South Corridor under National Highways Development Project - Phase II.

The agreements were signed by NHAI with NK Toll Road Ltd and DS Toll Road Ltd (SPVs formed by Reliance Energy Ltd) in the presence of Mr Santosh Nautiyal, Chairman, NHAI and Mr JP Chalasani , Director-Business Development, Reliance Energy, said a release. Under the first agreement, the four-laning of the 33.5-km long, high-traffic density corridor of Namakkal-Karur Section of NH - 7 on BOT basis is expected to be completed in 30 months at a cost of Rs 205.6 crore.

The concession period is 20 years, inclusive of the time taken for construction.

The agreement also has a grant component of Rs 24 crore to the concessionaire NK Toll Road from NHAI.

The second agreement has been signed with DS Toll Road for four-laning of 53.025 km long corridor of Dindigul-Samyanallore Section of NH-7 on BOT basis.

The project is expected to be completed in 30 months at a cost of Rs. 283.5 crore.

The concession period is 20 years, inclusive of the time taken for the construction. As per the agreement, NHAI would provide the concessionaire DS Toll Road, a grant of Rs 31 crore.

Currently, the Namakkal-Karur Section of NH - 7 is two-lane but on completion, this nearly 33.5 km stretch would be a four-laned road with paved shoulders.

In addition, it would have nearly 11.5 km of service roads. This section would have one bypass (near Velur), six bridges, four flyovers, 5 underpasses and 20 bus stops.

The agreement also covers an operations & maintenance (O & M) contract of the already four-laned 10-km long Namakkal bypass.

Currently, the Dindigul-Samyanallore Section of NH - 7 is two-lane but on completion, this nearly 53-km stretch would be a four-laned highway with paved shoulders having nearly 17 km of service roads.

This section would have two bypasses (Kodai Road and Vadipatti), 30 minor bridges, three flyovers, two Railway Over Bridges, eight underpasses, 14 bus stops in addition to one wayside amenity and two truck lay byes, it added.

In BOT-Toll projects, the private sector meets the upfront cost and expenditure on annual maintenance and recovers the entire cost along with the interest from toll collections during the concession period.

To increase the viability of the projects, a capital grant up to a maximum of 40 per cent is provided by NHAI to the concessionaire.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 31, 2006)
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