PIL seeks inquiry in road development project

October 21, 2013



KOLHAPUR: City-based social activist Subhash Vani has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court seeking a thorough inquiry into the work as part of the Kolhapur Integrated Road Development Project (KIRDP) and the land leased to the IRB Company.The high court will on Monday hear the PIL, which will be clubbed with a writ petition filed by the IRB Company seeking police protection for collection of toll. The PIL seeks an inquiry into the cost escalation of the project, which has gone up to Rs 512 crore from Rs 220 crore at the time of the agreement.Vani said, “There should be an probe into the quality of the roads and the pending work. We have also raised the issue of the policy of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) which we believe has failed across the state. Our demand is that the BOT policy should be suspended by the state government.”

He added that as per the agreement, the IRB Company will be allowed to collect toll for 30 years. The developer company may demand extension of the toll collection for a few years to recover the additional money it claims to have invested, he claimed.

Kolhapur was the first city in the state where the Maharashtra Road Development Corporation ( MSRDC) decided to experiment collection of toll on a public-private-partnership basis for an intra-city road development.

On the other hand, city-based communist leader Govind Pansare alleged that there were many flaws while drafting the project proposal and its implementation by the IRB Company. The KMC has leased out the land of about three lakh sq ft at Temblaiwadi in the city at an annual rent of Re 1 since 2009. The IRB leased out the land to a private hospitality firm, which is now constructing the luxurious hotel at the site, he said.

“The developer company has leased out the land given by Kolhapur Municipal Corporation to a hospitality company without taking the requisite permissions from the civic body. We want all these matters to be discussed in the high court and demand a CBI probe. Strict action should be taken against those found guilty,” Pansare told mediapersons.

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