Free Press Journal

Toll exemptions to cost Maha govt Rs 8799 cr: RTI query


Mumbai: A toll-free Maharashtra will result in a compensation of Rs 8798.79 crore to contractors by the state government in a period of over two decades, an RTI query has revealed. The compensation will be paid by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) to contractors managing the toll booths.

As per the information provided by the PWD to RTI activist Anil Galgali, this compensation amount would be paid up to financial year 2039-40. Galgali said he had sought information from PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil about details of the toll booths closed and also about those where exemptions have been provided.

PWD in its reply said in its 19 projects having 27 toll nakas (booths), cars, jeeps, state transport buses and school vehicles have been exempted from paying the road levy, due to which the department paid Rs 179.69 crore to the contractors for the year 2015-16.

This amount has to be paid yearly for next 25 years (till FY 2039-40), which will cost the exchequer Rs 7377.44 crore, according to the reply. Similarly, on the 12 projects under MSRDC, 26 toll nakas are functional on which the cars, jeeps, state transport and school buses have been given exemptions, which cost the exchequer Rs 284.27 crore in the fiscal 2015-16.

This amount is to be paid for the next 5 years, till 2019-20, totalling Rs 1421.35 crore. Thus, MSRDC and PWD will be paying a total amount of Rs 8798.79 crore, the RTI reply said.