The roads and highways sector will see developers/toll operators incurring toll revenue losses of Rs 3,450-3,700 crore during March-June. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will lose Rs 2,100-2,200 crore in toll over this period, as per Crisil Research report.
The positive part is that the road and highways sector would rebound faster despite sharp losses this quarter.
The major cause of this disruption has been the extended lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which has stalled traffic on the ground as in the air, is expected to bring enormous losses on infrastructure industries but roads and highways would rebound faster despite sharp losses this quarter.
The NHAI had planned to raise Rs 80,000-85,000 crore through fiscal 2025 by monetising 6,000 km of operational public-funded toll roads.
This asset monetisation programme through toll-operate-transfer and infrastructure investment trusts will likely take a hit, the Crisil report said.
In addition to the loss in toll revenue, stakeholders will suffer losses on account of accrued interest, increase in costs of under-construction projects, time overruns, and rise in disputes between private sector and the government authorities.
Although the tolling operations resumed on April 20 and construction on select projects has also restarted. Going forward, the ramp-up in traffic, availability of labour and raw materials for construction, and expeditious dispute resolution will be the key. NHAI will have to step up initiatives beyond conventional avenues such as development of way-side amenities and formation of special purpose vehicles/ joint ventures for both, financing and revenues, the Crisil Infrastructure Advisory, said.