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  Metros   Mumbai  30 May 2018  Govt to pay short falls for ‘Samruddhi’

Govt to pay short falls for ‘Samruddhi’

THE ASIAN AGE. | UMAKANT DESHPANDE
Published : May 30, 2018, 5:35 am IST
Updated : May 30, 2018, 5:35 am IST

SBI Caps is the banker appointed for financing the project and as per its demands.

Representational picture
 Representational picture

Mumbai: The state Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal to pay for all shortfalls for the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s pet project, as per the demand of bankers, for which toll for 40 years had been proposed. However, due to objections raised by the finance department, the toll period will be decided later after consultations. The project cost has increased from `46,000 to `49,247 crore, which has become a matter of concern.

The Samruddhi project was facing financial problems, as bankers were not ready finance the project until they received a guarantee from the state government. Though government has not given a financial guarantee for the project, it has assured the bankers that it would take care of financial shortfall during the construction period.

State Bank of India (SBI) Caps is the banker appointed for financing the project and as per its demands, the state has taken some financial responsibility to counter the risk factor, said senior officers.

Though the BJP had opposed the toll policy during the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) regime, the 710-km Samruddhi corridor, which will pass through 10 districts, will have toll for 40 years. The finance department had objected to this, as in the case of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, where toll is being exacted despite the contractor having recovered all expenses with profit in the first 10 years of the expressway’ existence. The finance department suggested a periodical review of toll on the Samruddhi Mahamarg after every five years after study of actual receipts and the growth projections, senior officers said.

Samruddhi Mahamarg project has been marred by controversies since last 2.5 years. There was strong opposition for the acquisition of land especially in Thane and Nashik districts and agitations were also witnessed. Hence, the government declared compensation five times more the ready reckoner rate and PWD minister Eknath Shinde also visited many villages. After immediate payments of compensations, the land acquisition process was accelerated.

Tags: samruddhi mahamarg, devendra fadnavis