India’s Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to seek new bids for toll operation rights of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

MSRDC had received one bid for the collection of motorway toll over the next 11 years, which came from IRB Infrastructure Developers.

According to sources cited by The Economic Times, it has now cancelled the process and is seeking fresh bids.

Tolling rights for both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and NH-4 are available through the bidding process.

The sources told the publication that the agency has invited new bids for a minimum of Rs82bn ($1.16bn), with a new deadline of 16 December.

This amount is required to be paid to the MSDRC in four instalments, with the first being the highest at Rs62.8bn ($891m).

In August, the Mumbai-Pune ToT bid was initially launched, with a deadline date of 5 September.

This deadline was extended three times and then cancelled.

A global infrastructure investor, who backed out from the bidding process, said: “The major issue is the higher price to be paid for a single asset, which can’t be justified. In India, there are many more opportunities, such as new ToTs, where one can bag five-six road assets for a lesser price.”

With Maharashtra banning road tolls in the past and car owners receiving exemptions from paying tolls on several roads, investors have become wary.

One investor told the publication: “Hence, we have similar concerns on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.”

IRB Infra generated revenues of Rs9.18bn ($129m) in the financial year of 2019 from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway project, which was operated on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.