Saturday, January 28, 2006

IDFC may fund elevated expressway

IDFC may fund elevated expressway
Business Standard

The Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL) is in talks with leading financial institutions like IDFC, SBI and ICICI for funding the Rs 765 crore project.

BETL is the special purpose vehicle that was formed recently to implement the access-controlled elevated expressway project from Bangalore city to Electronic City.

The 9-km Bangalore-Electronics City elevated expressway project has been bagged by a consortium of three companies — Soma Enterprise Limited, Nagarjuna Constructions Co and Maytas Infra Pvt Ltd. The consortium outbid leading construction firms like L&T, HCC, GMR and Gammon India.

An agreement with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was signed on January 25. The project is scheduled to be completed by July 2006.

“We have initiated talks with the Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC) to fund the project. While the three consortium partners contribute 20 per cent of the project cost (about Rs 150-160 crore), the balance will be raised from financial institutions,” V V R Raju, vice president - finance, Maytas Infra Private Limited told Business Standard.

He said that Maytas Infra, which is constructing the 63-km Bangalore-Maddur state highway with loans from IDFC, is likely to opt for the financial institution to fund the elevated expressway.

“We have six months to achieve the financial closure of the project. In the next two weeks the project appraisal work will be completed and we hope to finalise IDFC as the lead financier as their interest rates are very attractive (about 8-8.25 per cent),” said Raju.

The public-private partnership project has been awarded by NHAI on a negative grant of Rs 16 crore. The project will commence in July this year and completed in 24 months.

The expressway includes 4-lanes of elevated road and 6-lane road on the ground, from the Silk Board Junction up to Electronic City on NH-7.

The consortium has been given a concession of 20 years and it will be implemented on a build-own-transfer (BOT) basis, said Ankineedu Maganti, director, Soma Enterprise Ltd.

He said that the expressway, once completed and implemented, will reduce the commuting time to Electronic City by one hour. It will decongest the roads and enable thousands of IT professionals to commute to work faster and more easily.

The BETL has fixed Rs 10, Rs 25 and Rs 70 as toll for a single trip for two-wheelers, passenger cars and heavy commercial vehicles including buses respectively.

There will be concession passes on a daily and monthly basis for regular users. Toll plazas will be set up at five places. The toll has been fixed in consultation with the NHAI.

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