Mumbai’s Sion-Panvel highway to be repaired, government to make road contractor pay for it
The arterial highway, which links the Mumbai-Pune expressway to the island city, is in a mess owing to a fight between the state and the firm in charge of its maintenance.Updated: Aug 02, 2017, 09:51 IST
Taking complaints against the shoddy state of the Sion-Panvel highway into account, the state government on Tuesday decided to undertake repairs of the pothole-ridden highway.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state assembly the amount spent on repairs will be deducted from the compensation being given to the road contractor and toll operator after the exemption of toll for light vehicles. The CM, however, did not mention any deadline for completion of work.
The arterial highway, which links the Mumbai-Pune expressway to the island city, is in a mess owing to a fight between the state and the firm in charge of its maintenance.
“The responsibility of maintenance and repair is of the contractor. But the state public works department (PWD) will take it up. The amount will be deducted from their compensation,” Fadnavis said, responding to legislators’ complaints about the condition of the highway.
The issue was raised by Shiv Sena legislator Ashok Patil in the question hour.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had awarded tenders for the Rs1,220-crore project -- which involved widening the road and making it partially signal-free -- to Sion Panvel Tollways on a build, operate, transfer basis with a concession period of 17 years and five months. The company was to collect toll and maintain the road.
In 2015, the BJP-led state government scrapped toll for most categories of vehicles and agreed to pay a monthly compensation to the contractor in return. The widening project later got embroiled in litigation between Sion-Panvel Tollways and the state government.
Meanwhile, public works department minister Chandrakant Patil told the legislative council the government is working on “war-footing” to repair the Mumbai-Goa Highway and the repairs would be complete by August 15. Patil was responding to a discussion on a calling attention motion by senior Congress leader and member of legislative council Narayan Rane. Patil also said that all potholes will be filled before Ganesh Chaturthi, which is on August 25.
Rane, a MLC from Sindhudurg district said that many people go to their villages during the festival and the highway is riddled with potholes.