GMR Infrastructure now says that it is ready to take up the 555-km Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway project again if there is a cut in the initial premium it owes to the government. GMR had withdrawn from the Rs 5,700 crore highway project owing to inconsistencies on environment clearance.
GMR bagged the contract in 2011 by offering a Rs 636 crore annual premium to the National Highways Authority of India – with a 5 per cent increase in the premium every successive year. Sources said GMR has in a letter said it will pay a premium of Rs 100-150 crore in the first few years of the concession period.
After ten years, when the debt is cleared, they will pay three times the premium due beginning that period,” said a senior NHAI official. The total amount paid to the government over the concession period will remain same, as per the GMR’s offer. The official said as per the Delhi High Court’s ruling, NHAI will have to respond to GMR’s offer by April 30.
A highly-placed source in the transport ministry said that the government has to get the highway built. It is a matter of deliberation. The point here is that GMR quoted the highest premium to the government.
After the company withdrew from the project in January this year, the NHAI went to the Delhi High Court challenging the fact that the company did not give cure period to NHAI. It was after the Court’s directive to government to look into the matter that the company wrote offering restructuring the premium scheme.