Pune-Mumbai expressway toll to continue till 2045, increase in rate every three years
MSRDC officials said that the bids for the project were opened last week and it was found that Afcons Infrastructure and Navyuga Engineering emerged as the lowest bidders for viaducts and tunnels respectively. The estimated cost of the project is ₹4,797.57 crore.Updated: May 25, 2018 14:44 IST
The Maharashtra state road development corporation (MSRDC) has extended the toll collection deadline of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway from 2030 to 2045 to fund the proposed
A senior official of the MSRDC confirmed the development on Tuesday and said that the toll collection will continue till 2045 as the utility needs money to fund the proposed 13.3 kilometre bypass stretch of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway between Khopoli and Kusgaon.
“Period of toll collection on expressway has been increased by 15 years with 18 per cent increase every three years since the MSRDC has to repay the loan for the proposed bypass project. The earlier deadline was 2030,” said Shankar Dhote, chief engineer, MSRDC.
As of now, for anyone travelling in a car on the Pune-Mumbai expressway, he has to pay ₹230 as toll charges. But after every three years, an 18 per cent increase in this charge would mean that one has to pay around ₹1,000 for a one-way trip.
However, activists are miffed with the rise in charges. “Going by the number of vehicles and the toll collected over the years, the amount spent on the road and its interest has already been collected till 2016 and yet the toll will continue for so many years,” said Vivek Velankar, right to information (RTI) activist.
Velankar said that the government should ideally collect toll for six years for ₹4,797.57 crore, which they will be spending for the proposed bypass project. “Why is government extending it for fifteen years when it can collect the money in six years,” said Velankar.
According to the state’s government resolution dated November 24, 2017, it was decided to construct a 13.3km bypass between Khalapur toll plaza and Kusgaon, which will reduce travel time by almost 20 minutes. For the project, MSRDC had called for two separate tenders, one each for the viaduct and for the tunnel. Currently, the expressway and the national highway merge, as a result of which, the six lanes see traffic intended for approximately 10 lanes. This slows down the traffic flow, especially in the ghat areas.The realignment will allow motorists to travel at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour and will cut down travel time between the two cities by 30 minutes, said officials.
MSRDC officials said that the bids for the project were opened last week and it was found that Afcons Infrastructure and Navyuga Engineering emerged as the lowest bidders for viaducts and tunnels respectively. The estimated cost of the project is ₹4,797.57 crore. Officials also confirmed that construction work of the project will start after the monsoon season.