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Hyderabad: Row over ORR toll collection; BJP demands ‘no toll’

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Hyderabad: Telangana BJP leader Gudur Narayan Reddy on Wednesday demanded Telangana government cancel the toll collection right given to a private company on the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) method for Rs 7380 crores for three decades reasoning that it would incur a loss to Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA).

In a media statement, he said that the decision of the state government was like killing the goose that lays golden eggs and smacks of a scam.

He alleged that the government has given toll collection right to a Mumbai-based company at less than half the price that could be earned in the coming three decades.

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Alleging that the whole process is a scam, the BJP leader said that the government has given the right collect to toll on ORR on Toll Operate and Transfer method to the private company at a rate of Rs 7380 crores for 30 years, whereas it is estimated that about Rs 17000 crores could be earned in 30 years.

“It means that the company would make a profit of more than Rs 10,000 crores in the next three decades,” said Gudur while adding that the government was supposed to give toll collection right only for two to four years and not 30 as in the case.

Stating that the BRS government which would be out of power in five months has usurped the rights of the next six governments, Reddy said, “It was nothing but an undemocratic and unjustifiable act of BRS.”

The BJP leader further said that at present the estimated revenue through toll collection on ORR was about Rs 540 crores per annum and will likely be reaching up to Rs 650 crores per annum by 2033 and that sums up the average revenue per each decade to Rs 5200 crores.

Pointing that the deal is a loss for HMDA, Reddy said, “The government has accepted the low price offered by the Mumbai-based company to secure the right, the revenue would be less than 2500 crores per decade.”

While recollecting that the BRS government had been criticizing the BJP government at the Centre for selling public sector companies, the BJP leader said that the former did not have any right to entrust the projects to private companies at a throwaway price.

Arvind Kumar sys ORR operation bid finalised as per norms

Explaining TOT, the special chief secretary of Telangana, Arvind Kumar said that the system for the toll collection on ORR is not to increase the toll but taken up as per the NHAI rules.

Addressing a press conference organised on Wednesday to clear out the glitch about awarding the TOT contract, Arvind Kumar said the toll policy of the Telangana government is based on the National Highways Fee Rules, 2008, and toll collection on ORR will follow the same guidelines.

Defending the process of global tenders for awarding the contract for 30 years, Arvind said that the bids represented the Net Present Value (NPV) of the future cash revenue estimates.

NPV is arrived at after discounting inflation and overheads such as operation and maintenance expenditure, income tax, changes in working capital, interest on short-term loans and others.

“Rs 7380 crore today is not of the same value as Rs 7380 crore in 30 years,” asserted Arvind, adding that there will be a review every 10 years, to go over the actual revenue realisation and the agreement will be brought down if the traffic increases.

The TOT contract was awarded to IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited for the highest bid amount of Rs 7380 crore, among four competitors which included Adani Road Transport and present concessionaire Eagle Infra.

Given the Rs 542 crore toll collection on ORR for the year 2022-23, several questions were raised about the throwaway price for which the contract had been given, which Arvind Kumar sought to answer through the press conference.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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