HMDA bullied by toll collector, loses Rs 1 cr a month

HMDA bullied by toll collector, loses Rs 1 cr a month
Highlights

HMDA Bullied By Toll Collector, Loses Rs 1 cr a Month. Debt-ridden Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) is in a fix after its agreement with Mumbai based private firm PK Hospitality to collect taxes at toll booths on the Peddambarpet- Patancheru and the Narsingi-Gachibowli stretches.

Debt-ridden Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) is in a fix after its agreement with Mumbai based private firm PK Hospitality to collect taxes at toll booths on the Peddambarpet- Patancheru and the Narsingi-Gachibowli stretches. At present the HMDA is losing about Rs 1 crore per month. An agreement was signed between the two parties nearly one-and-a-half year ago, which expired in March, but the period was extended by two months, as the bidding for the automation was likely to take some time.

As part of the deal, PK Hospitality had to pay the HMDA Rs 1.26 crore every month. Later another stretch was added to ORR, raising the tax to Rs 1.65 crore. As per a clause of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI); every financial year, the authorities can increase the road toll by three per cent, and conspicuously PK Hospitality started charging an additional 3 per cent toll tax from April 2014. However, the firm at present is paying only Rs 1.65 crore to the HMDA per month, while the additional 3 per cent levied by the private firm is accounted for. Due to the latter’s behaviour the HMDA has been incurring losses over the past two months. In other words, the authority has been losing nearly Rs one crore per month mainly due to extending the deadline for receiving fresh bids.

With the High Court clearing the Toll Management System (TMS), the HMDA is now looking forward to mechanising the entire toll collection process and has invited tenders for the same. The HMDA authorities stated that the companies that file their bid should pay a minimum of Rs 2.94 crore per month.

The HMDA authorities conducted a survey in December last to note the number of vehicles travelling across the stretch of 124.33 kilometres on the ORR, after which the HMDA authorities held the tender at Rs 2.94 crore.

When the HMDA authorities were questioned on the reason for receiving less tax from the private firm, the authorities stated that the private firm had found its survey invalid and hence did not find the need to pay the taxes as stipulated earlier. e HMDA authorities have been on the receiving end for yielding into the mere statements by private firms. The board also faced flak for extending the agreement with the firm.

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