Maharashtra: Six months’ exemption to Satara Road toll contractor as compensation

Pune : The toll contractor of Pune-Satara Road, who suffered losses during the lockdown period, has been given a relaxation of six months to deposit the government’s share of the toll amount. This information has come out under the Right to Information Act. Due to the loss of the toll contractor due to the lockdown, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and the Ministry of Finance had set a policy to compensate the toll contractor of the country. Under this, the criterion has been fixed to compensate the contractor in view of the loss as the entire traffic during and after the lockdown is not 90% as compared to the previous week.

Accordingly, during April to September 2020, the contractors have been exempted from paying the government’s share of toll amount. This information has come out under the Right to Information Act.

The Pune-Satara National Highway was four-lane, a work is going on to make it 6-lane. This work started on 1 October 2010. The original contractor was to complete this work by 31 March 2013. But this work is still going on.

The National Highway Authority continuously gave additional time to this work. Due to this incomplete work, hundreds of road accidents have taken place on this road in the last 11 years and many civilians have lost their lives.

Despite the work being incomplete, the rate of the contractor is being increased continuously. The authority has given several notices to the contractor in the past. But no further action was taken. Hence the road work is pending.

“They tolerated this as an act of God. In such a situation, it is a gross injustice to the rest of the people to compensate only the toll contractor,” said Vivek Velankar, President, Sajag Nagrik Manch, Pune.

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