Soon, no tolls for motorists on roads connecting JNPT

September 10, 2014

Navi Mumbai: Motorists plying on major roads leading to and from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), who are not port-bound, will not have to pay toll soon. Instead, the toll amount will be recovered only from port-bound vehicles at the JNPT end.

JN Port Road Company Limited — a special purpose vehicle (SPV) floated with equity participation by JNPT, City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) and National Highways Authority of India – has dropped the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model of widening the three roads at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore (revised estimate).

Sources from Cidco said that the BOT model, which involved recovery of investment through toll from all motorists, was dropped to avoid people’s ire related to payment of toll.

Now, JN Port Road Company Limited has decided to undertake the project on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) model under orders from union minister of shipping, road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari.

JNPT chairman N N Kumar said, “This BOT model has been dropped officially following orders from Nitin Gadkari. A decision has been taken by the SPV board and a tender is likely to be issued in another 20 days.”

Gadkari is understood to have dropped the toll model on roads leading to and from JNPT, as PM’s visit to the city on August 16 came in the backdrop of the state’s decision to consider waiving off toll on the cost it incurred on upgrading the 10-laning of the Sion Panvel highway (Rs 1,220 crore) from BARC to Kalamboli.

During his visit, Narendra Modi also laid the foundation stone for JNPT SEZ, at Sheva. It is the first port-led growth envisioned by the PM on engineering, procurement and construction model.

On Thursday, Congress chief minister Prithviraj Chavan responded to an earlier suggestion made by Ajit Pawar for a waiver of toll on the Sion-Panvel highway, and said, “A decision is likely in a few days.” Pawar had sought Cidco to pay Rs 1,000 crore and the MMRDA to bear the rest of the cost.

Apart from this, motorists have another reason to cheer. They can enjoy a seamless drive along three roads leading to and from the port – NH-4B, SH-54 and Amre Marg – as specific stretches would be widened soon with the addition of lanes and service roads (See Box). The project will also aid container trailers plying to and from the port. As the present capacity of freight handled will go up once the fourth JNPT terminal becomes operational, the number of container trailers will also increase.

Source:Times of India

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