The National Highway Authority of India has offered a loan of ₹260 crore to Reliance Infrastructure subsidiary PS Toll Road Private Limited, Mumbai Mirror reported recently.
NHAI has approved the loan to the Anil Ambani run firm to complete the widening of the 140 km stretch of the Pune-Bangalore highway despite meeting deadlines.
NHAI had decided to extend the loan to the company under NHAI’s One Time Fund Infusion Scheme (OTFIS) in the presence of Union Minister for Surface Transport, Nitin Gadkari the report said.
PS Toll Road has till now had five extensions to complete the project since its allotment back in 2010. The deadline was extended to June 2019 last year.
According to the contact, the company in charge is responsible to pay the cost of the project from their own funds, after missing two project milestones. The company is also to be charged a penalty of 0.1 per cent of its security deposit, for every day of delay, the maximum penalty extended up to 20 per cent of the security deposit, as per the report.
The loan as extended despite the company not meeting necessary deadlines. Furthermore, R-Infra had also been under the scanner for diverting money from its escrow account into mutual funds. It had deposited the money back into the escrow account after being pulled up by the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG). NHAI had imposed a penalty of ₹22 lakh.
The company is also facing law-suits from activists for illegal toll tax collection.
Thane-based lawyer-activist Praveen Wategaonkar last month, along with activist Sanjay Shirodkar had filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation against P.S. Toll Road for allegedly having illegally collected a toll revenue of nearly ₹1,780 crore in the last nine years despite not completing the highway, according to a report in The Hindu.
The Mumbai office has forwarded the proposal to the Delhi headquarters. PS Toll Road said that the loan has been approved as per all the legalities as the project was extended due to conditions which were not in control of the firm and it is complying with all regulations as required, it said in the report.
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