Telangana govt owes explanation on ORR leasing: Kishan Reddy

Hyderabad: Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy on Sunday found fault with the Telangana government for leasing out Outer Ring Road (ORR) to a private party for just Rs 7,380 crore for a period of 30 years, saying this deprived the state of Rs 75,000 crore revenues.

He said the state government owes an explanation to people as awarding of toll collection, operation and maintenance of the ORR to a private agency for 30 years on Toll, Operate and Transfer (TOT) basis would result in a huge loss of revenue to the state.

He told a news conference that the state government selected IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited in the bid in a predetermined manner and in violation of the guidelines of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

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Kishan Reddy explained that the private agency will collect toll for 30 years on ORR after paying only Rs 7,380 crore to the government.

He pointed out that so far Eagle Infra was collecting Rs 415 crore as toll on ORR for Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) every year.

“If this toll collection increases by 5 per cent per year, HMDA would have earned Rs 30,000 crore for 30 years. Experts and engineers say the 10 per cent increase would mean a revenue of Rs 75,000 crore during the same period. If we assume a 15 per cent increase, the revenue for the government would be over Rs 2.08 lakh crore,” he said.

Stating that Hyderabad is the fastest growing city in the country, the Union Minister said the toll revenue on ORR would only go up.

He wondered why the BRS government which had been opposing privatisation gave ORR on lease for 30 years. Taking a dig at Chief Minister KCR, he asked if this was the qualitative change he wanted to bring.

“The government should tell people for whose benefit this decision was taken,” he said.

He questioned the need for awarding the contract for 30 years when most of the roads are leased for a maximum period of 10 years.

The Union Minister alleged that BRS took the decision as it has realised that it will lose power in Telangana.