The six-lane 165-km-long Yamuna Expressway, which connects Noida and Agra, has been put up for sale by Jaypee Group, according to a report in The Mint newspaper. The Yamuna Expressway, which is estimated to have cost around Rs 13,000 crore, became operational in August 2012.
The move should not come as a surprise because the Jaypee Group, comprising Jaiprakash Power Ventures, Jaiprakash Associates and Jaypee Infratech, is struggling under around Rs 60,000 crore in debt.
Brokerage Maybank says it will be “difficult” for Jaypee Infratech to spin-off the road project as the total project cost also includes five land parcels in UP. Jaypee Infratech is developing five townships on this land.
“The performance of the Yamuna Expressway project has been below expectations because of the mismatch in traffic volume estimates. The company has been generating toll income revenue of not more than Rs 200 crore per annum versus the earlier expectation of more than Rs 1,000 crore,” Maybank added.
The management however told the newspaper that it is “not aware” of the development.
The Yamuna Expressway has been popular among tourists, who want to cut down the travel time to Agra – the city of Taj. However, Yamuna Expressway is infamously called the “deadliest” road in the country because of a large number of road accidents.
There were 275 accidents in 2012, which rose to 896 in 2013. There were 771 accidents in 2014. In 2015, there have been 252 accidents till mid-July with death toll at 319.