Mumbai-Pune Expressway: MSRDC Says ₹22,370 Crores Pending From Toll Collection

Mumbai-Pune Expressway: MSRDC Says ₹22,370 Crores Pending From Toll Collection

Responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged the extension of toll collection on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway until April 2030, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has deemed the calculations conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as inaccurate. 

The CAG audit report said that the Expressway’s entire capital outlay was recovered by 2019, leading to a PIL filed with the Bombay High Court.

The MSRDC’s affidavit said that the audit did not consider other aspects like traffic flow in the early years, interest fluctuation, and money value when the contract was awarded back in 2004, among others. The MSRDC added that lack of consideration for these aspects means the audit is faulty and hence unreliable.

The affidavit filed by MSRDC Chief General Manager, Kamlakar Phand, said that although the cost of the project was more than ₹4,000 crores in 2004, it had only received an upfront payment of ₹918 crores.  

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Adding the internal rate of return at 16 per cent, the amount recoverable by 2021 stands at ₹22,370 crores, the agency said, adding that the contract extension. The affidavit also asked the court to dismiss the PIL. 

The MSRDC affidavit also said that since the PIL brings up technical and scientific issues involving experts, the court should not be concerned in the matter unless there is an allegation of mala fide, which the petition doesn’t state. The petition was also deemed a publicity-seeking initiative by the MSRDC. 

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Meanwhile, the PIL filed by Pravin Wategaonkar alleges that since the whole capital outlay of the project has been recovered (as per CAG’s findings), any extension on toll collections will lead to the contractor making illegal gains while burdening daily commuters.   

MSRDC added that the CAG report estimates took figures like income from real estate, leased land, etc. But since that didn’t happen, the revenue collected over 15 years was only enough to fulfil the contract agreement, whereas the capital outlay wasn’t recovered, the agency said.

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