CHENNAI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is mulling over the monetisation of the Chennai Bypass under the Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) programme, wherein already-operational national highways are assigned to private entities on long-term concession basis, according to a source.
Chennai Bypass is a full access-controlled expressway that interconnects four radial national highways around Chennai, covering a distance of 32 km from Perungalathur (near Tambaram) on NH-45 to Puzhal on NH-5 via Maduravoyal. This could be the second stretch to be offered to a private concessionaire after the 52-km stretch from Madurai to Kanniyakumari.
Under TOT, the operator has a right to collect user fee and has an obligation to operate and maintain – as per international standards – the respective stretches during the concession period. Further, the NHAI source said that bids have been invited for the four-lane Chennai-Bengaluru expressway being constructed at a cost of `6,400 crore. “Bids have been invited but due to the model code of conduct coming into force it was delayed. It is likely to be taken up after May 2 when the election results will be announced,” he said.
Work on the 262 km-long, four-lane, access-controlled Chennai-Bengaluru expressway project, which begins at Hoskote in Karnataka and ends at the Outer Ring Road, was to start in the financial year past after an announcement by the Union Finance Minister during the previous Budget session. It was, however, delayed due to the lockdown.
The official source also said that the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal expressway project is being redesigned following the directive from Union Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. “The changes are being worked out and once they are reviewed by the Minister, the project will be finalised,” he said. Gadkari rejected the initial design as he had suggested the project could be made a two-tier expressway.