Agroh Infrastructure Developers Emerging as Important Player in the Road Sector

Sudhir R Hoshing

Agroh Infrastructure Developers which entered the road sector with DBFOT mode, is now confident about their project handling under the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM). The company has recently bagged two new projects under HAM and are hopeful of completing them successfully on the given deadline. Mr. Neeraj K Aggarwal, CEO, Agroh Infrastructure Developers Pvt. Ltd. in an interview with Maria R, says, "We really appreciate the Govt's ambitious target of constructing 40 kms /day during 2016-17. We are of the view that with the Hybrid Model alone, the govt. cannot achieve such a target; there is a need for drastic reform in the BoT /PPP model to gain public confidence."

What is your take on the recently passed GST bill. How do you see its Impact on the Indian economy?
Keeping the general experience relating to impact of the financial policies of the govt. with special reference to the post-Independence era in view, it has been felt that the overall impact of such major or even minor reforms have not remained very pleasing for the common people. Considering the overall social and economic backwardness of the substantial portion of Indian society, we don't think that there will be any positive impact on the Indian economy unless the rate of GST is reduced by 25%, of the proposed rate. Although revenue generation may increase, we must not expect too much from the reform in question, as far as the common man is concerned.

How do you see the year 2016-17 for Agroh and what target have you set for the next five years?
The DBFOT model had not remained feasible during the recent past. The govt. however, now expects a lot from this model. As far as Agroh company is concerned, we have recently entered into 2 new projects under HAM during FY 2016-17. Some similar projects are also in pipeline and we are hopeful in this regard. We are also confident of execution of these projects in the coming 5 years.

Four Lane of Rewa Ring Road
Four Lane of Rewa Ring Road under BoT Toll+Annuity model

What according to you, is the core strength of Agroh?
We entered into the DBFOT mode in the state of Madhya Pradesh in its First Phase, Ujjain – Jhalawar Road, which was very successful here after all models under DBFOT i.e. BoT –Toll BoT Annuity, BoT Toll + Annuity, and the OMT also remained successful. Now we are confident about our project understanding in the HAM and by this exercise, we expect to complete the ensuing projects, successfully and suitably ahead of the scheduled time.

How do you see government's ambitious target of constructing 40km of road per day in 2016-17? How is your company positioned to be a part of this initiative?
We really appreciate the Govt's ambitious target of constructing 40 kms of roads/day during 2016-17. The idea behind the target is mainly because the govt. has taken up the issue of forest clearance, acquisition of land and site clearance, etc. suitably beforehand, which was a major bottleneck earlier. And by this exercise, the inherent delay in projects will certainly be curbed. Besides, the projects under Hybrid and EPC models can also be hoped to be completed in time. Since we have completed all our projects in time, we are sure to maintain the tradition in future also.

Don't you think that with only HAM, the government can't build 40km of roads per day and hence, had to review BoT/PPP model to attract private investment? What according to you, are the aspects government should address in the BoT/PPP model?
This is correct that with the Hybrid Model, govt. cannot achieve building of 40 km of roads/day. It is also pertinent to review the BoT/PPP model. We are of the view that the govt's strategy of awarding the construction work by splitting its scope in convenient segments has led to healthy competition among the stakeholders. A sufficient number of investors may thereby adjudge the financial viability of the project. We have also observed that processing in one lot had remained a major cause of failure of several highway projects in the recent past. Banking sector has also remained very uncomfortable due to this, thereby leading to a sizable non-performing assets.

Since the Indian Economy had also been affected adversely, we are of the view that there is a need for drastic reform in the BoT /PPP model, to gain public confidence.

Mechanization and advanced technology play an important role in sustainable and successful project completion, hence we intend to be equipped with modern machinery and skilled workforce, ensuring project completion ahead of deadlines.

Biaora Rajasthan Border
Biaora -Rajasthan Border under BoT Toll NH-12(52)1

For sustainable and successful project completion, mechanization and new technologies play a vital role; how does Agroh look at this vital aspect? How do you keep your workforce up-to-date with best training and construction practices?
There is definitely nothing denying the fact that for sustainable and successful project completion, mechanization, and new technologies play a vital role.As far as our latest technologies are concerned, we have a very seasoned and suitably trained workforce, right from top to bottom, and do not face any crunch on this account. We also have a large fleet of the latest and modern machinery and equipment. We also lay suitable stress on technology upgradation and training of latest available practices to the technical and ministerial staff. Also, we intend to be equipped with the latest and most modern machinery according to current requirements.
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