New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said the Center will get toll revenue of Rs 1,000 to 1,500 crore every month when the much-awaited Delhi-Mumbai Expressway becomes operational in 2023, and state-owned NHAI will be called a “gold mine”. as described. to generate income.
Conducting the ambitious drive to expand the country’s road infrastructure for the past seven years, a confident Gadkari also said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will increase the annual toll income by Rs 1.40 lakh crore in the next five years. The current level of Rs 40,000 crore.
Gadkari, who completed a whirlwind tour to assess the progress of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway passing through four states apart from the national capital, said the national highway infrastructure is a world-class success story.
“After the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is completed and opened to the public, we will get at least Rs 1,000-1,500 crore as toll revenue every month,” he told PTI in an interview.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is likely to be completed by March 2023 and is being built as part of the first phase of the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’.
The eight-lane expressway covering Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is expected to reduce the commute time between the national capital and the country’s financial hub from about 24 hours to 12 hours.
Against the backdrop of concerns of NHAI becoming high level of debt, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways informed that the nodal agency has got ‘AAA’ rating and all its road projects are productive.
‘AAA’ is one of the highest credit ratings and indicates a strong financial position.
“NHAI was not in debt trap, and it will never be in debt trap in future. It is a gold mine, and is in a strong position in the next five years, with NHAI’s toll income rising to Rs 1.40 lakh crore per annum. The current toll income is Rs 40,000 crore,” Gadkari said.
In March, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture had expressed its displeasure over the loan payment obligation of Rs 97,115 crore on NHAI.
Recently, the minister told the Rajya Sabha that the total borrowings of NHAI increased to Rs 3,06,704 crore at the end of March this year from Rs 74,742 crore in March 2017.
Gadkari said investment in the infrastructure sector would generate employment and accelerate the country’s economic growth, adding, “We (NHAI and the ministry) are working on projects worth lakhs of crores.”
He said that when the economy is in a downturn, economics tells us that there is a need to increase investment in infrastructure.
The country’s economy has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and it is on a gradual recovery path.