Opposing the state cabinet infrastructure sub-committees decision to allot the contract for toll collection at the five entry points in Mumbai to Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEP),the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) leader and MLC Jayant Patil on Tuesday said that by doing so the state government has caused huge loss to the exchequer.
While talking to mediapersons on Tuesday,Patil questioned the cabinets sub-committee decision to give the contract to a company which had quoted a longer duration for toll collection as compared to other companies which had filed the tender. MEP has quoted a time period of 17 years and one month for toll collection. Other companies had quoted a much shorter duration for toll collection. By deciding to award the contract to MEP,the government has led to a loss of about Rs 10,000 crore to the exchequer, said Patil.
The cash-strapped Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation (MSRDC) had decided to float the tender to grant the toll collection rights in a bid to raise funds. The committee had decided to award the toll collection rights to MEP Ideal Toll Consortium which would be subjected to the decision of the Bombay High Court. Reliance Infrastructure,one of the bidders,had approached the High Court in this regard.
Patil added: MEP has been collecting toll for the last eight years. We were expecting fair and free process while allotting the new contract. Despite the on-going court case,the contract has been awarded to MEP.
Patil quoted the objections raised in the CAG report relating to toll collection by MEP as well as the court litigation filed by Reliance Infra against their disqualification on technical grounds. Patil also criticized the MSRDC for accepting a lower projected growth of vehicle numbers (three per cent) in Mumbai for the first five years of the contact than the actual estimates (nine per cent).
Earlier this week,MEPL had said that it is looking forward to receiving the Letter of Acceptance from MSRDC. The queries raised by the finance department were cleared by the MSRDC following which the contract was awarded to MEPL. As per our understanding,there is no stay on any of the court cases filed. The MSRDC is seeking the opinion of the Advocate-General of the state. We expect to receive the LoA in the next week, Jayant Mhaiskar,Director of MEPL,had said.