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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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International Seminar "Experience Gained in PPP Projects in Road Sector - The Way Forward"

11-12 November 2013, New Delhi (India)

This international seminar on road concessions "Experience Gained in PPP Projects in Road Sector - The Way Forward" was organized by the Indian Road Congress (IRC). Co-organized by IRC, the World Road Association and the French Government, 300 individuals were in attendance, representing the Indian road stakeholders: the Government, the National Highway Indian Authority, concession companies, engineering firms, legal firms, financing institutions. The World Road Association also contributed through presentations from members o Technical Committee 1.2 on Financing of Road System" from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and Spain.

Preparatory Documents for the International Seminar

The seminar covered the main aspects of road concessions: motorway development programs, contractual arrangements, financing schemes, client's key roles (tendering, overview on risk sharing schemes, operation management, surveillance, safety), role of private investors and contractors, contribution of consulting firms.

A special space was given to the international context and the role of international banks and organizations, such as the World Band and the Asian Development Bank, that have supplied several contributions focusing on the specific features of the Indian PPP road program. The Indian stakeholders, as well as the international road concession companies operating in India, benefited of a unique opportunity for an open exchange of views on the critical aspect of the development process of the road industry in the country. Experts from national road agencies of some European countries, where PPPs have been developed since decades, provided some suggestions and examples of mechanisms encouraging the contribution of private companies to the road sector.

The impressive achievements of the Indian National Highway Development Project led to the granting of 150 road concessions, a motorway network based on PPP scheme of 16,000 km (with a forecast of further 7,000 km) and the participation of the private sector with financing for about 25bn USD.

This fast growth of toll concessions made India a PPP pioneer in Asia for rehabilitation and extension of the road network. Some shadows of the program were also examined: time delays in land expropriation, traffic overestimation by the concessionaires and revenue downfalls, late payments of the publicly granted contributions.

This event might become a regular meeting of the road sector, under the coordination of the Indian Road Congress and the agreement of the Government, aimed at encouraging the exchange of different points of view in the development of the toll road concession program. Another possible outcome could also be a closer co-operation between the Indian Road Congress and the Technical Committee 1.2 in the future.