Roads that can be built at a cost of less than Rs 200 crore will be handled by the Public Works Department (PWD) and not be given to private contractors. Such projects will also not attract toll, a Minister said.

The move is aimed at providing some relief to the common man, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil told reporters at the state secretariat here.

The PWD department is also considering to shutdown those toll plazas that have a "small" amount pending to be paid to private contractors managing them.

"The toll plazas have been burdening the common man with collections that are going on for years. Considering this, we have decided that those roads that can be built at a cost of less than 200 crore, will be built by the PWD itself and not be given out to private contractors," Patil said.

"We are also considering to abolish those toll nakas that are either on the verge of completing their (collection) tenure or have less than Rs 10 crore pending (to contractors). These plazas will be closed down in about two months time. I have a list of 40-50 such toll nakas."

A committee of chief engineers has been set up to take a review of all such toll plazas and the panel has been instructed to submit a report within 20 days, he said.

"The 121 toll nakas that we have in the state provide us with a revenue of Rs 26,000 crore. While considering our new policy, we have to ensure that we provide relief to the common man as well as generate an alternate source of income in lieu of the abolished plazas," Patil said.

"We are also mulling over a proposal under which we may stop charging toll from four-wheeler cars. Instead, that amount will be collected from trucks. But I am not very sure how feasible that is going to be."

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said his department is ready to provide funds to compensate the loss arising out of the decision to close down some toll plazas.

"We are ready to provide money if toll nakas are shut thereby providing relief to the common man. We have a capacity to shell out about Rs 200 crore for this purpose," he said.

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