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The mission of this conference is to focus on:

  • The new government has yet again lined up big plans for the road sector. Its five-year roadmap entails the infusion of Rs 15 trillion in the highways sector. Plans are in place to resume work on all the stalled highway projects in the next 100 days. The government has also planned for the development of 22 greenfield expressways and a grid of roads. In a bid to revive private sector interest in the sector, about 3,000 km of projects will be bid out under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) route.
  • Looking back, the sector has witnessed a major turnaround in activity thanks to the launch of new polices, business models, projects and programmes. Overall, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has invested over Rs 11 trillion in the sector during the past five years. The hybrid annuity model (HAM) has met with success due to the government’s proactive approach of obtaining all clearances prior to project award.
  • On the financing front, the focus on listing assets under InvITs has grown and financial closures have been relatively easy to come by. Over 80 per cent of the projects awarded under HAM since 2016 have achieved financial closure. While the overall financing scenario has improved, a few big players with asset heavy portfolios have succumbed to the rising stress in the corporate debt market. That said, key players like HCC, Essel Infraprojects and Reliance Infrastructure are now looking at hiving off their existing portfolio to follow an asset light strategy.
  • Meanwhile, the government’s efforts to tap innovative means of financing continue to grow. Asset monetisation through the toll-operate-transfer (ToT) model has been taken up. The first bundle of nine highways spanning a length of about 680 km was monetised successfully for an investment of Rs 97 billion. The second bundle received a lukewarm response from investors and is being remodeled; meanwhile, the third bundle has been recently put up for bidding.
  • The NHAI is also looking at bringing in equity partners for funding highway projects. It is likely to form an SPV for the Delhi-Mumbai expressway and seek equity participation.
  • Going forward, mega projects such as Bharatmala, Setu Bharatam, Char Dham Connectivity, and the development of economic corridors will be the biggest investment drivers in the sector. The government has set tall targets for the next five years, highlighting plenty of opportunities. Besides, technology deployment will gain more traction in the times to come. Innovative ways of DPR preparation and software-enabled asset management strategies will go a long way in cost and time optimisation.
  • The mission of this conference is to highlight the emerging trends and new opportunities, examine measures to deal with the unresolved issues and showcase noteworthy projects, latest technologies and new construction techniques. The conference will also provide a platform to private developers, contractors, government officials, and equipment and technology providers to share their experience and exchange ideas.
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