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Activists demand stoppage of toll on Mumbai-Pune Expressway


Claiming that IRB Infrastructure has recovered Rs 2,880 crore from toll levy on Mumbai-Pune Expressway till November 2016, anti-toll activists have asked the government to stop the toll collection within 15 days.

According to the activists, IRB paid Rs 918 crore upfront to Maharashtra government to collect toll and maintain Mumbai-Pune Expressway for 15 years (upto August 2019), but it has already collected Rs 2,880 crore till November 2016.

“We want the government to withdraw the toll in the next 15 days or else we will have to move the competent authorities against the toll plazas,” said Sanjay Shirodkar, an activist.

“If the toll collection is not withdrawn we will file a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau,” he said.

IRB had projected collection of Rs 2,869 crore by 2018.

Another anti-toll activist, Shriniwas Ghanekar, said there will not be any need to compensate the company for toll loss as already excessive collection has been made.

In the case of toll plazas at Kolhapur and other places like Bhiwandi and Ghodbunder Road, the state government had to compensate the operators when toll levy was stopped.

Meanwhile, IRB said the toll collection on Expressway was as per the agreement.

“Once again, we re-iterate that toll collection on Mumbai-Pune Expressway is in line with the prevailing concession agreement,” IRB spokesperson said in a statement.

Gross revenue assumed during the 15-year period needs to be calculated from the traffic numbers assumed by it in the bid submitted by taking into consideration the growth rate as well as tariff approved for the period by the government, IRB said in a statement.

“If one takes them into consideration it will be clear that the project is likely to generate at best 15-16 per cent returns over a period of 15 years after factoring interest expense, maintenance cost as well as the initial investment of upfront amount and four-lane work capital cost,” it said.

Such long term projects of 15 years tenure need almost 8-9 years to break even, and so the assumption that project recovery is already done is completely wrong, IRB said.

(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)