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  LMV toll waiver hinges on Centre

LMV toll waiver hinges on Centre

Published : Oct 30, 2016, 5:22 am IST
Updated : Oct 30, 2016, 5:22 am IST

The Summit Mullick Committee set up by the state, said the state will have to take approval from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

The Summit Mullick Committee set up by the state, said the state will have to take approval from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

While the state government had announced waiving off toll for light motor vehicles (LMVs) on the 94-km-long Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the waiver is not in its hands and it will have to take approval from the Centre for the same.

 

The Summit Mullick Committee set up by the state to look into toll waiver, in its report, said that apart from the financial burden the state will have to bear, it will also have to take approval from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for having any amendments in the concession agreement as it had signed a superseding agreement with the MoRTH, which makes it binding on it.

The state government had formed the committee as part of BJP’s “toll free” poll promise to look into legal and financial complications that could arise if toll waiver was given to LMVs at five entry points in Mumbai and to ST buses, private buses and LMVs on the Mumbai Pune Expressway.

 

Highlighting the legal implications of toll waiver, the committee report said, “MSRDC has a superseding agreement with the MoRTH and is under obligation under this agreement to submit amendments to the MoRTH and government of India. If the government of Maharashtra wishes to provide toll exemptions to cars on the Expressway, this deviation will have to be submitted to MoRTH for their approval.”

A senior MSRDC official who was one of the members of the Summit Mullick Committee, said, “We are told that currently, the report has been forwarded to the state finance department to evaluate whether the state government can bear the expenditure required for waiving of toll for LMVs on the Expressway and five entry points of the city.”

 

“Also, when it comes to taking permission from the Centre, it would depend on the advice of the finance department as the Centre would ask for money in return for approval as it was the Centre that participated in a big way during construction of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in the late 1990s,” he added.