The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the maintenance of national highways based on the Operate, Maintain and Transfer (OMT) mode. This is expected to lead to better maintenance and hence smoother and more efficient flow of traffic on national highways. The OMT model is similar to the BOT model except that OMT does not require the concessionaire to construct the highway which is the case in the BOT model.
Earlier maintenance and toll contractors were appointed on an annual basis for highways through a tendering process. User fees were collected through different agencies, and were deposited in a consolidated fund. Overall it used to be a time consuming exercise and there was no assurance regarding the quality of the maintenance of the highways. Unlike this, in an OMT model, the concessionaire takes charge of the maintenance for a fixed concession period which ranges from four to nine years. This includes undertaking periodic as well as annual maintenance works, traffic incident management and ensuring smooth flow of traffic. For revenue generation the concessionaire can levy and collect user fees from road users, after issuing a notification to the effect in the government gazette. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways or the National Highways Authority of India awards the OMT contracts. The Ministry has already approved a model concession agreement for the OMT operations.
Path is maintaining close to 4000 Lane kms of highway under the OMT scheme across the country.