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  • The level of activity in the operations, maintenance and tolling (OMT) segment has declined in the past three to four years. Since 2009, only about 20 projects spanning about 3,000 km have been awarded under OMT. At the state level, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar have outsourced OMT to private players. The model has met with limited success due to the high level of exemptions, toll resistance, political pressures and lack of flexibility in concession agreements, etc.

  • However, the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model has created several opportunities in the OMT segment. The maiden tranche under TOT was awarded to a joint venture of the Macquarie Group and Ashoka Buildcon Limited at a bid price of about Rs 97 billion. Recently, the NHAI invited bids for the award of eight stretches under the second bundle of TOT at a concession value of Rs 54 billion.

  • Meanwhile, the deployment of the electronic toll collection (ETC) system through FASTag has been on the rise. About 14-16 per cent of the country’s toll collection takes place through digital means. The NHAI launched the MyFASTag and FASTag partner apps in order to facilitate the online sales of FASTag for ETC. On the technology side, new tolling techniques and payment mechanisms are being explored. The use of geospatial technologies like GPS, GIS and satellite imageries in road maintenance is on the rise.

  • Going forward, the TOT model will provide a major boost to the road sector by channeling funds into the construction of new highway projects, which will further entail O&M works. The market for outsourced O&M services will grow manyfold as players will increasingly exit build-operate-transfer and hybrid annuity-based operational projects. In fact, several global pension funds and private equity players are eyeing space due to the availability of a large pool of revenue-generating assets. At the state-level too, outsourcing of O&M services will gain traction in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar. 

  • The mission of this conference is to discuss the experience so far in the OMT segment, highlight the upcoming opportunities under the TOT model and draw attention to the key issues and concerns. It will also showcase technologies being deployed to ease operations on highways.
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