ORR lease: Can't pay initial amount IRB writes to HGCL

HYDERABAD: In an interesting development, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, which was awarded the 30-year toll contract of the Outer Ring Road, expressed its inability to pay 10 per cent advance of the total bid amount of Rs 7,380.

While the concessionaire is supposed to pay the advance within a month of issue of Letter of Award, the remaining bid amount should be cleared in another three months. Failing to meet the first milestone, IRB proposed to the nodal agency Hyderabad Growth Corridor Limited (HGCL), a wing of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), that it would pay entire bid amount in four months. It even offered to begin operations only after paying the full amount.
The award of toll contract for 30 years became highly controversial with the opposition parties of the Congress and BJP accusing the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led government of grossly compromising on the state’s interests. Union minister G. Kishan Reddy alleged that HMDA would have got Rs 2 lakh-crore. The government however defended the monetisation of 30-year lease by collecting the net present value of Rs 7,380 crore.

According to highly-placed sources, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd during the pre-bid meeting in March has entered into an MoU with HGCL. A week ago, HGCL issued Letter of Award (LoA) to the shortlisted agency and asked them to pay an initial 10 per cent amount within 30 days as per the agreement entered. However, IRB recently wrote to HGCL saying that it cannot pay the initial 10 per cent of the total amount in such a short notice and asked them to give 120 days time to pay the full amount prior to handing over the project. Taken aback by this, the HGCL asked the state government to intervene and the issue is still pending.

Earlier, HMDA sought global bids for the project, which attracted bids from Eagle Infra India Ltd, Dinesh Chandra R Agrawal Infracon Pvt Ltd, and Gawar Construction Ltd. The toll collection touched Rs 400 cr in 2022-23 fiscal.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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