Most of the 162 build-operate transfer (BOT) toll concessionaires, including private equity players, have decided to take the arbitration route to get monetary compensation from the National Highways Authority of India for their costs and losses during the lockdown days, they said.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification for amendment to national permit regime under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 for promoting tourism across the country.
The deadly Covid-19 disease has dented the confidence in mass transit system with experts suggesting that people are less likely to opt for public transport and only those who have no other means taking to the public transport system for travelling purposes. One of the biggest challenges before the authorities will be to bridge that trust deficit.
DHL Supply Chain CEO said the recent Sino-Indian tensions haven’t affected supply chain operations, although it remains to be seen whether it will escalate. The pandemic has taught several lessons to logistics companies, mainly the need for more flexibility in supply chains, he added.
Unbridled hike in fuel prices and rampant extortion at border check-posts in states have hit truckers hard, and if the government fails to intervene, disruption of transport services cannot be ruled out, AIMTC said.
NHAI’s external financing route was approved at a recent meeting with the finance ministry, the official said, adding that the model would be finalised by July-end. “NIIF is now moving ahead...By and large, the Department of Economic Affairs in the finance ministry has shown willingness to support the model,” the official said.
Reacting to reports that the state roadways buses would be restarting normal operations from June 1, the managing director of UPSRTC, Rajshekhar said the final decision will depend on the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Uttar Pradesh government regarding the ongoing lockdown.
Haryana Roadways bus service resumed after the state government decided to start special bus services on selected routes. The buses will run only within the state. Stranded are hoping for further relaxations after conclusion of lockdown 3.0.
The highway ministry is examining the issue faced by the contractors and could unveil steps for their resolution soon, two senior officials told ET. Toll road operators will also be compensated for loss of business on account of fall in traffic and toll exemption, they said.
Crisil said the extended lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stalled traffic on the ground as in the air, is expected to heap enormous losses on infrastructure industries but roads and highways would rebound faster despite sharp losses this quarter.
The development adds to the issue of lack of truck drivers in the country, who are reluctant to come back to work, and the delay in announcement of Covid-19 insurance for truck drivers is making the situation worse, the All Indian Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said in a statement.