Mumbai: Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil today ordered to discontinue collection of toll in Kolhapur until a committee led by the MSRDC department submits its report on compensation to be paid to the toll booth contractor.
Incidentally, toll booth contractor Ideal Road Builders (IRB) has asked the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to pay Rs 249 crore for closing nine toll booths in Kolhapur city.
During a meeting attended by PWD minister Chandrakant Patil and MSRDC Minister Eknath Shinde today at the state secretariat, a Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee delegation asked the government the reason behind evaluating compensation amount to be payed to IRB, when it has not stated the exact toll amount which it has already collected.
Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee president N D Patil asked the government about the "logic" behind allocation of land to IRB for a period of 90 years for an annual rent of merely one rupee, when the toll contract is valid merely for 30 years.
The Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee also pointed out that the quality of roads built by IRB is extremely poor, which has been substantiated by the Santoshkumar and K V Krishnarao committee, after which a decision was taken to establish the Eknath Shinde Committee.
While addressing the Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee delegation, PWD minister Chandrakant Patil said the Eknath Shinde Committee would study reports submitted by both committees and take a decision within 15 days about the compensation issue.
"The Shinde committee will suggest to the government the actual amount which needs to be paid to the contractor as compensation or the money that needs to be recovered from the contractor," PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil said.
Kolhapur Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vinay Deshpande, Chief Engineer of the State, two representatives of the Urban Development Department, legislator Chandradeep Kshirsagar, Rajendra Sawant of the Kolhapur Anti-toll Committee and two representatives of the IRB toll booth contractor would be members of the Eknath Shinde committee, he said.
"While the committee will submit its report in 15 days, we have decided not to let the contractor collect any toll," PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil said.