Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced in the state assembly that part of the compensation paid to the road developer in lieu of the toll tax would be used to repair the damaged portions of the Sion-Panvel highway. He also admitted in the House that several irregularities had taken place while awarding the contract to the company to develop the Sion-Panvel highway, and a probe has already been launched. Fadnavis was replying to some queries raised by several members over the bad condition of the Sion-Panvel highway and irregularities in the allotment of road construction and toll collection.
“The road contractor is responsible for its maintenance and repair. The Public Works Department (PWD) of the state government will take over the repair work. The passenger vehicles have been excluded from toll collection, hence the state government pays a certain amount to the contractor. The part of compensation given to the road developer will be debited from the total payment by the state to carry out the repair and maintenance work,” Fadnavis said. NCP leader Ajit Pawar drew his attention to the buyback policy, wherein the state takes over delayed projects and completes them using its machinery.
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Responding to it, Fadnavis said, “It is true that there have been several irregularities in the completion of Sion-Panvel stretch of Mumbai-Pune highway. To implement the buyback policy here, the state government first needs to go through the terms and conditions of the contract for this project.” The chief minister also admitted that during the process to award the contract to the company for Sion-Panvel highway, several violations had taken place and investigation was on. “Police officials have also initiated a probe against several officials, such as chief engineer, superintendent engineer and executive engineers of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), who were allegedly responsible,” he said.