The dispute between infrastructure firm IRB and Maharashtra government following the closure of toll booths in Kolhapur would be taken up at a pre-Cabinet meeting on November 17 with a view to arriving at a settlement of the compensation claim made by the former.
State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Chandrakant Patil said that while Ideal Road Builders (IRB) Infrastructure Developers Ltd had claimed compensation of Rs 473 crore after the state government ordered closure of toll booths in Kolhapur city, an anti-toll action committee estimated that the compensation amount to be Rs 192 crore.
However, the minister, who had constituted the anti-toll action committee, said that a consensus could not be reached despite several parleys with IRB representatives.
Patil said that the state government has received the report of the valuation committee, which has not taken into consideration the interest amount and Rs 90 crore given by IRB to Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC).
“IRB made the claim for compensation citing these two factors,” he said.
The state government has closed 12 toll booths permanently and exempted light vehicles from toll tax at 53 other toll booths across the state with effect from May 31 midnight.
However, toll is still levied in the KMC area, where IRB has constructed internal roads within the city on a Build- Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
According to Professor ND Patil, leader of the anti-toll action committee, IRB has already collected a huge amount from Kolhapur citizens in the form of toll tax and it should be calculated while compensating the company.
KMC has offered a plot of land to IRB against the compensation sought by the firm.
“The land is worth Rs 107.57 crore, but IRB has quoted the price of the land at Rs 10-15 crore,” ND Patil said.
He said that the plot should not be sold to IRB at a cheap rate and should instead be auctioned so that the KMC gets the right amount.
A PWD official said the dispute would be settled at about Rs 390-400 crore and added that he feels the sum should be acceptable to IRB.
On Tuesday, the PWD Minister said, a meeting would be held with Radheshyam Mopalwar, Managing Director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), before the Cabinet meeting, and the compensation amount would be decided.
Then the proposal would be discussed among ND Patil, Mopalwar and Anand Kulkarni, Additional Chief Secretary, state PWD department, he said.
“The sum would then be offered to the IRB and, if it does not accept it, the Chief Minister may intervene and issue a final notification,” the minister said.
The PWD Minister has assured the citizens of Kolhapur, his home district, that the government would provide relief from toll tax.