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NHPC is steering its ship towards road construction business as well

PW Bureau 

The state-owned hydroelectricity producer are viewing this new business opportunity in the country and overseas as part of its diversification strategy, says chairman and managing director New Delhi: State-owned hydroelectricity producer NHPC Ltd is considering placing bids for road projects, said a top company executive, as the company plans to enter the fray in the road-construction sector. This development will pit the public sector undertaking (PSU) against private sector road developers, including Larsen and Toubro Ltd, IRB Infrastructure, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd and Hindustan Construction Co Ltd. NHPC is viewing this new business opportunity in the country and overseas as part of its diversification strategy, said Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director, NHPC.

Road project less time consuming

While hydropower projects are located in remote locations, the state-run producer has been constructing roads in far-off places for its own usage. The execution of a hydropower project is time-consuming and tedious, compared to a road project. The firm wants to leverage its knowledge gained from the work done under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in Bihar to tap into the growing business. “We can venture into roads. We are already doing some (PMGSY) roads in Bihar,” said Joshi. “This opportunity can be anywhere, whether in India or elsewhere. We have thought about it and will explore it,” Joshi added.

NHPC plans to take part in toll-based projects

The 3,229-km project was granted on a turn-key basis under the marquee scheme, entailing a Rs 1,725.65-crore investment, even though NHPC has constructed about 3,209 km of roads in the state. The plan is to now take part in ‘tariff-based or toll-based’ bids. To provide all-weather road connectivity to unconnected rural habitations, PMGSY was launched by the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2000.