Cube Highways in concession pact with NHAI for Karnataka project

Cube Highways and Infrastructure I-D Pte Ltd (Cube Highways), a portfolio company of I Squared Capital, has entered into a concession agreement with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to operate an 80-km four-lane toll road connecting Neelamangala and Devihalli in Karnataka.

As part of the transaction, Cube Highways substituted the former concessionaire, Lanco Devihalli Highways (LDHL), by incorporating a new SPV, Nelamangala Devihalli Expressway (NDEPL), pursuant to the substitution rights of the senior lenders in the concession agreement.

NDEPL, an important passenger corridor linking Bengaluru to Mangaluru, has had a strong recovery in traffic and daily revenues following Covid lockdown. The project has been operational since June 2012 and was awarded as a 25-year concession after competitive bidding in 2008 to strengthen and widen a two-lane highway to a four-lane configuration. The project provides connectivity to pilgrim centres in Karnataka and tourist destinations like Kodagu and Udupi.

“We are pleased to complete the first substitution transaction of this kind in the road sector in India,” said Gautam Bhandari, Director of Cube Highways and Managing Partner at I Squared Capital.

“Cube Highways’ strong record of deal closures during the pandemic is a testament to its disciplined deal making approach and operational capabilities. Cube Highways worked with NHAI and senior lenders through the economic dislocation to complete this transaction under the substitution mechanism of NHAI, setting a benchmark for such transactions in the future,” he added.

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Hang photos of people who delayed project, says Nitin Gadkari while inaugurating NHAI building

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

October 29, 2020 1:36:27 pm

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. (File)

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has expressed his displeasure over the ‘delayed’ work culture in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Inaugurating the new headquarters of the NHAI on Sunday, Gadkari mentioned how it took 12 years to complete the building and said that it was time to show exit door to ‘non-performing assets’ complicating and delaying projects by creating obstacles.

In a video, Gadkari can be heard saying the photos of people who delayed the construction of the building should be put up on the wall.

“It was a matter of shame that the Rs 250 crore-project was finalised in 2008, had its tender awarded in 2011 and took another nine years to build. The current chairman and members are unrelated to it. But the great personalities like CGMs and GMs who worked on it from 2011 to 2020 and delayed the project, If possible, their photos should be put up in the building, so that people know their history. They delayed decisions for nine years,” he said.

“We say with pride that we will complete the Delhi-Mumbai expressway in two to three years. It is worth Rs 80,000 to 1 lakh crore. But it took so many years to complete this project of Rs 250 crore. This is shameful,” he added.

Gadkari further said, “We have been unable to identify performance bottlenecks. Many committees were formed, they gave their report. But these corrupt and inept and lazy people of NHAI are so powerful that despite orders, they take wrong decisions.”

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