Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is responsible for toll collection on Mumbai-Pune Expressway, has received a poor response for the appointment of a new toll collection agency. Following which, the tender deadline has been extended to December 16, said an official. He further informed that on the first tender call, only one agency had shown interest. However, as per government policy, the bid cannot be opened if only one bidder participates and therefore the tender needs to be reinvited. Moreover, on the newly extended date, if again one bid is found then the authority is allowed to make a decision and proceed further, if necessitated, explained the official.
The authority wants to hire an agency for the next 11 years. The selected company has to make an upfront payment of Rs 9,000 crore to the MSRDC. This paper had reported how in the pre-bid meeting companies had asked for more time to arrange money since the market is bad.
On August 15, the previous toll collection company Ideal Road Builders (ITB) Infrastructure completed the 16 years contract with MSRDC giving a total of Rs 1,301 crore. But since the authority failed to recover the project cost, the state government once again granted rights to collect toll on Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The MSRDC as a temporary arrangement had appointed Sahakar Global to collect toll for three months. The official made this temporary arrangement considering that the new long-term contract signing would take a lot of time. The appointment of the temporary agency will help in preventing the loss of toll collection.
The 93-kilometre-long Pune-Mumbai Expressway was constructed at a cost of Rs 1,630 crore in 2002 and from 2004 the toll collection is going on.
Reportedly, a public interest litigation was also filed in the Bombay High Court for want of removal of toll fees from the Expressway.