Marking the beginning of what India hopes will be an ongoing stream of public-private partnership deals, a consortium of Australia’s Leighton, the U.K.’s Balfour Beatty, France’s Vinci and the Hindustan Construction Co. submitted bids this month for the $1.2-billion concessionaire contract to build a 570-kilometer highway from Rajasthan to Gujarat. This road is the first of nine megaprojects conceived by the National Highways Authority of India.
India has set a target for constructing 35,000 km of highways in the next five years under the National Highways Development Program. Out of the $60-billion investment, $40 billion is to come from the private sector. Overhaul of India’s infrastructure has become critical to the growth of Asia’s third-largest economy.