The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has received a mandate to raise Rs.70,000 crore through infrastructure bonds claim industry sources. Sources add that the easy availability of low cost overseas loans for the AAA rated NHAI should make it easier for it to raise the bonds. In connection with the impetus being put on infrastructure development, including highways, road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari, is known to have said recently that contracts worth Rs.5 lakh crore for infrastructure, roads, and ports have been signed. The minister is said to have termed the signing of contracts as remarkable, and in-line with the good response received from public and private investment. Gadkari is also known to have said that his ministry is getting good response for PPP, BOT and hybrid annuity models. As many as 101 projects are ready for take off, claim industry sources. They add that the ministry is also working on a number of waterways projects for improving inland connectivity in cities like Mumbai.