The Maharashtra government has decided to remove toll collection for light motor vehicles and state transport buses at 53 toll tax plazas, 12 additional toll plazas to shut down permanently in the state but the entry-point toll booths continue to cause huge time waste for commuters.
Only those people who love travelling by road know the problems and inconvenience caused by toll booths. Though these booths or plazas are set up to recover the cost incurred by a contractor to construct a particular section of the highway, most of the toll booths continue to collect money even after they have recovered the complete amount that they are supposed to. So, in what comes as good news for the people of Maharashtra, the government has decided to remove toll collection for light motor vehicles and state transport buses at 53 toll tax plazas in the state.
The news was broken out by Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. In addition to the scrapping of toll collection, 12 additional toll plazas will be shutdown permanently in the state by next month. But, this decision is not applicable to Mumbai’s five entry and exit points, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the toll plazas in Kolhapur either. PWD Minister, Eknath Shinde said that with this move, the government will incur an additional burden of around Rs. 5 billion per annum which would be reimbursed to the Maharashtra Public Works Department and the Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation.
While talking about the entry and exit points of Mumbai and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, 90 percent of the users are cars. Therefore, further calculations are supposed to be carried out before taking a decision for these routes by 31st July 2015. According to official estimations, the Mumbai entry and exit points at Dahisar, Thane, Mulund, Airoli and Vashi alone account for a huge revenue of over Rs. 4000 crores per annum. Eknath Shinde is heading a committee which will study and submit a report with recommendations for the Kolhapur toll plazas by 31st May 2015. In the meantime, the state government will be planning to implement a new toll tax policy from 1st June 2015.