MSRDC claimed that there is no termination clause in the contract even if the operators meet the toll revenue target before 2019.
Mumbai: Activists have threatened to file a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), claiming that the state government has allowed the operator and maintenance contractor of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway to collect toll despite meeting the toll revenue target in 2016.
An activist said, “The MSRDC anticipated that Rs 2,869 crore in toll revenue would be collected by 2019 and after meeting the target the contract will be terminated. However, despite collecting revenue of Rs 2,923 crore till the end of November 2016, they have continued to charge the toll.”
However, MSRDC dismissed the allegations, claiming that there is no termination clause in the contract even if the operators meet the toll revenue target before 2019.
Sanjay Shirodkar, the toll activist, said, “Why should the motorists pay toll despite the targeted toll revenue being met? The state government should ensure that the toll collection is suspended and Mumbai-Pune Expressway is made toll-free. However, the contractor should be made to maintain the Expressway till 2019 as mentioned in the contract.”
Mr Shirodkar added, “We have apprised Mr Fadnavis along with state government and MSRDC officials about the issue several times, but they have ignored our letters. We will file a complaint with the ACB under the Prevention of Corruption Act and conspiracy, and if necessary we will take the matter to court.”
Speaking to The Asian Age, Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC, said, “The activists don’t understand the mathematical calculations, and there are various reasons for the toll being levied despite meeting the target. There is no clause to terminate the contract. Whatever is collected after meeting the target is the profit for taking huge business risks of building the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.”
IRB Private Limited, the contractor of Mumbai-Pune Expressway, issued a statement saying, “In this matter, IRB has shared all relevant factual information with the respective authorities in state government from time to time. Once again, we reiterate that toll collection on Expressway is in line with the prevailing concession agreement.”