The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may have to provide around `500-crore compensation to the build-operate-transfer (BOT) concessionaires operating national highways in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR. This follows its decision to declare farmers’ agitation which impacted toll collection as an indirect political force majeure event.
The move will also mean extension of the concession period equal to the period during which the concessionaire was prevented from collection of toll fee. Toll collection on 52 plazas have been impacted due to the farmers’ agitation that started from October last year. An average of Rs 7 crore toll was to be collected daily on these plazas. The cumulative loss since the start of the protests till June 30, 2021, would be around Rs 1,600 crore, including Rs 400 crore on public-funded projects, according to Icra.
“As per our estimates, NHAI’s move would cover around 40-45% of loss of revenue incurred by the affected projects. The total toll loss for the BOT concessionaires is estimated to be around Rs 1,200 crores until June 30, 2021, hence, compensation payable would be in the range of Rs 450-500 crore,” said Icra’s Rajeshwar Burla.
In a circular, issued earlier this month, the NHAI said as per the concession agreement, in case the concessionaire was unable to collect fee despite making best efforts or it was directed by the authority to suspend the collection thereof during the subsistence of such force majeure event