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Maharashtra gets tough; to order probe into toll-way agreements, says CM

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 08, 2015

Powering ahead Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with Shiv SenaMinister Diwakar Raote releasing a book after completing 100 days in power, inMumbai on Saturday VIVEK BENDRE

‘Pacts between the State and the contractors have no buyback clause’



The Maharashtra government will order a probe into toll-way agreements with road contractors which seem to be one-sided, said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Toll-free, not a promise

While the State government is of the view that toll should be scrapped, a number of agreements between the State government and contactors were such that there is no buyback clause, he said on the occasion of the BJP-Shiv Sena Government completing 100 days in office.

Clarifying State government’s position on toll collection on highways and expressways, Fadnavis said that toll-free Maharashtra is an idea and not an election promise.

Toll collection continues to be a volatile issue in Maharashtra. Over the last five years various social, cultural and political organisations have accused the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government of artificially inflating cost of building express roads and highways in the State so that the road contractors could be benefited.

MNS’ protest

Toll was one of the major issues during the recent Assembly elections. Last year in January, Raj Thackeray of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had also launched a short but very violent campaign against toll collection. The MNS stand was that tolls had been collected for highways and expressways for many years, even after the cost of building them had been recovered.

Launching a blistering attack on the previous Congress-NCP Government, Fadnavis said his government has inherited a State which is in a terrible shape. Due to arrogance of power of the previous government, sectors such as industry and agricultural services have heavily suffered, which has set the clock back by 15 years, he said.

In the last few years policy paralysis had afflicted the State, which had hindered the decision and implementation process. But in the last 100 days efforts have been made to change the climate in the State and decision making has been fast-tracked, the Chief Minister said.

Published on February 08, 2015
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