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BMIC promoter refuses to roll back toll hike

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 26 2017, 1:12 IST

The promoter of the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project has refused to roll back the recent hike in toll on its peripheral and link roads in Bengaluru.

In a nine-page reply to the notice issued by the state government recently, Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises Ltd (NECEL) has refuted the government’s argument that enhancement of toll prices is against the project’s Frame Work Agreement (FWA), including the Toll Concession Agreement (TCA). The right to collect and revise toll is not connected to converting the existing bituminous road into concrete road, the company said.

The Public Works Department (PWD), which is the nodal department for implementing the project, had issued a notice on July 7 to the company, asking it to withdraw the hike in toll within seven days or face legal action. The PWD had termed the toll hike illegal as it was done without obtaining its permission. The company recently increased the toll by 14% to 25% on 41 km of peripheral road and 9.1 km of link road.

The PWD had said that the promoter cannot increase the toll rates when a case pertaining to the default notice is still pending before the Karnataka High Court. The department had last year issued the default notice to the company for not developing concrete roads as per the FWA and asked it to rectify the lapse within 180 days. But the company subsequently obtained a court stay in this regard.

PWD Additional Chief Secretary M Lakshminarayana said the department has decided to seek legal opinion on the reply given by the company. The government will take appropriate action based on the legal opinion, he added.

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