Now, NHAI wants to finance municipalities, entertainment parks, roads

NEW DELHI: (NHAI) decided to go beyond its current mandate to enter the real estate business in an attempt to generate more resources for road development. He has prepared a proposal that seeks the assent of the cabinet to acquire land along existing or new ones to develop municipalities, logistics and solar parks, entertainment centers and other amenities along the way.

Sources said NHAI will establish a separate vertical to deal with the real estate business, where most developers have burned their fingers. Once the NH Law is amended, it will also become our main activity, such as road development and maintenance. This is a way to earn income to meet our growing funding requirement, said an NHAI official.

Sharing details of the plan, minister of roads of the Union Nitin Gadkari He told investors on Monday: The president of the NHAI sent me a proposal, which will be presented to the cabinet. We will acquire large plots of land from 3,000 acres to 10,000 acres along the next highways and freeways. Municipalities may arise on this land and you can invest to establish a medical university or other educational facility. We will reap the benefit of the cost of the land, which increases 2-3 times after the road comes into operation.

The NHAI is analyzing these plans along the next Delhi-Mumbai and 21 other greenfield highways. Gadkari said that since the Delhi-Mumbai highway passes through backward regions, the cost of land is cheaper and, therefore, obtaining land for future development will be easier.

TOI on January 11 had reported for the first time on the NHAI measure to seek amendments in the NH Act to acquire more land to create land banks to meet the requirements for future expansion and for the monetization of the plots. Prime Minister Narendra Modi He had ordered the road ministry to develop the policy. The change in the law is necessary since the NH Law can only acquire land for roads.

The sources said that the NHAI decided to take this model to acquire additional land within a radius of one kilometer of the sections of the highway on the lines of the Jaypee Agra Highway project. This may be a viable model for us, said an NHAI official.

The NHAI has been playing with new ideas to generate more revenue to control its growing debt. Total NHAI loans are likely to cross Rs 2.2 lakh crore in March. Sources said the highway authority also expects a sharp increase in its annual toll collection, which can reach Rs 84,000 crore by 2024.