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Maharashtra to have new toll policy before Lok Sabha polls code of conduct sets in

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The state of Maharashtra will have a new tolling policy in place before the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections comes into force. Reuters The state of Maharashtra will have a new tolling policy in place before the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections comes into force. Reuters
SummaryIn the new policy, state transport buses will be exempt from paying toll, the chief minister said.

The state of Maharashtra will have a new tolling policy in place before the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections comes into force, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Thursday.

In the new policy, state transport buses will be exempt from paying toll, the chief minister said.

Besides, he also said that the government will study the financial implications of buying back 22 road projects costing less than Rs 10 crore, from contractor companies, before stopping toll on them.

"Since this will pose a financial burden (on state exchequer) the matter will be taken up in the cabinet," Chavan said.

He added, on roads where the money has been recovered, empty toll plazas will be removed.

Acknowledging that not all was right with the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) policy for road projects in the state, the chief minister said, "We accept that despite privatisation not all roads are in a satisfactory state".

However, he assured that issues ailing the roads sector will be resolved. "Build Operate Transfer (BOT) is the fastest way of building roads, and Maharashtra has been undertaking this model for building roads since 1966. However, lot of shortcomings have come to fore in BOT projects, and these will be rectified in the new toll policy," Chavan said.

He added, that going forward road projects that built on BOT basis will have electronic devices to ensure transparency. "Henceforth, whatever roads are built on BOT, will have electronic devices fitted, which will enable keeping an exact count of vehicles that pass through those roads, and so the government will be able to fix the duration for which toll has to be collected," he said.

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