Even as the concession period for toll collection on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is set to end in 2019, motorists using the 95-km expressway will have to continue paying toll even after that.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has invited pre-qualification proposals from companies for operation and maintenance of the expressway and the old Mumbai-Pune highway with toll collection rights from 2019. The contract will also involve immediate implementation of capacity expansion work on the old Mumbai-Pune highway.
“The company that quotes the lowest concession period will be the most preferred bidder. There is an urgent requirement of undertaking infrastructure improvement work on the Mumbai-Pune highway. Plus, MSRDC’s debt is also on the rise,” said a senior MSRDC official who did not wish to be named.
As part of the contract, the selected company will have to pay MSRDC Rs 1,000 crore in instalments.
Currently, IRB Infrastructure is in charge of operation, maintenance and toll collection on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and has five toll stations — at Shedung, Khalapur, Kusgaon, Talegaon and Khalapur Connector. The company had purchased toll collection rights with an upfront payment of Rs 918 crore in 2004, and has a 15-year concession period valid till August 8, 2019. IRB Infrastructure also collects toll at four points on the old Mumbai-Pune highway — at Sheelphata, Dehu Road, Shedung and Kusgaon.
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“Under the new contract, the number of toll stations will remain the same. The bidders will be allotted collection of toll rights on the routes as per rates fixed by the Union government and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,” said the MSRDC official.
The additional work that the company bagging the contract will have to undertake on the Mumbai-Pune section of the NH-4 amounts to Rs 285 crore.
“The work will involve road widening on certain stretches at Nigdi, Dehu and Panvel, construction of flyovers, underpasses, pedestrian walkways and a bridge over the Gadhi river. We have recently got an approval from the National Highways Authority of India for the project,” said the official.
The MSRDC also has a capacity augmentation plan for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which will involve construction of more tunnels and bridges on the road stretching from Kalamboli to Somatne.
The project, which will cost roughly Rs 4,500 crore, is awaiting an approval from the state cabinet sub-committee of infrastructure.
‘“We have kept an option of buying back the rights in case there is any progress on the expressway capacity augmentation project in case we choose to float the contract with operation and maintenance and rolling rights,” said the MSRDC official.
As per the tendering schedule, the date for submitting the pre-qualification bids is April 10. The MSRDC will open the bids and shortlist firms in two days, while the main tender will be floated on April 26 and the corporation will open price bids on May 15.