New Delhi: In what could be termed as good news for the Centre in terms of collecting funds for the schemes of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), construction companies have expressed their willingness to undertake projects by investing their own funds.

Since the time the NHAI has started awarding projects on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, the construction companies have started exhibiting their keen interests in taking up projects.

Under the BOT basis, the construction company finances its construction and owns, operates and maintains it over a period, often as long as for 20 or 30 years. This period is sometimes referred to as the ‘concession’ period.

Envisaging the increase in traffic on a long run basis, the construction companies are engrossed in stiff competitions in bagging projects under the BOT basis.

Even in backward and underdeveloped states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the NHAI has started allotting projects on the same basis.  Till date, 19 premium projects have been awarded to different companies who have paid Rs 2,000 crore as premium to the authority. It is expected that by the end of the present financial year, the authority may get Rs 2,500 crore as premium.

The construction on the Muzaffarpur-Barauni NH 28 in Bihar which was once known for its potholes has also been awarded on premium basis. Likewise, the NH 24 running between the Rampur in Uttar Pradesh and Kathgodam in Uttarakhand, 93km of NH 87 has also been awarded on premium of Rs 34 crore.

For all these roads, the officials of the NHAI were earlier considering to release grants.

According to the NHAI sources, Larson and Toubro has bagged the project of four lane road of Sangareddy on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border at a premium of Rs 1318 crore. Nine big companies are also engaged in the competition of bagging the project on tender basis of one of the biggest road projects of 555 km between Ahmadabad-Udaipur-Kishangarh. From this road project which has an investment of more than Rs 5000 crore, the NHAI is expected to get a revenue of Rs 10,000 crore as premium amount.