PUNE: The city unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lashed out at the State government for allowing Ideal Road Builders (IRB) to mint money through toll collection on Pune-Mumbai Expressway and NH4 (Bombay-Bangalore Highway).
The party workers attacked the government and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for misleading the people by stating that the contract signed with IRB has no termination clause. AAP workers made these accusations at a press conference held at Patrakar Bhavan on Monday.
The party workers said as per the contract, the contractor was allowed to collect Rs 4,330 crore, however Rs 4,507 crore was collected as toll by January 2017. The party workers claimed that government is doing nothing to revise the contract with IRB and due to this inaction the contractor will be collecting an additional Rs 1,400 crore by 2019. Mukund Kirdat of AAP said that 13 years ago, MSRDC signed a contract with IRB, which agreed to carry out construction and maintenance of the Expressway and the old Pune-Mumbai Highway for Rs 918 crore. As per the contract, the contractor would collect Rs 4,330 crore (Rs 2,889 crore on E-way and Rs 1,461 crore on old Pune-Mumbai Highway). While drawing attention to several clauses in the contract signed with IRB, Kirdat added that the government is looking the other way when they can reduce the toll fees. The toll target included expenses, returns on capital investment, maintenance, facilities and administrative expenses.
- AAP workers say the government is purposely overlooking the clause in the contract which allows them to revise or reduce toll.
- AAP leader Mukund Kirdat attacked Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde for failing to revise the contract.
- AAP also lashed out at the government for allowing IRB to raise the toll from Rs 190 to Rs 230.