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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 11, 2012
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance ruling the BMC, on Wednesday, demanded a share in the toll collected at Mumbai’s entry-exit points to maintain the Eastern and Western express highways. This after the alliance shrugged off responsibility of maintaining the highways two weeks ago. The highways are maintained by the public works department, though the government has offered to hand over maintenance of the two arterial roads to the BMC. On Wednesday, BJP group leader Dilip Patel demanded the minutes of the meeting between BMC officials and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, following which the decision to hand over the highways was taken.

“If the state wants us to maintain these highways, it should allow us to collect toll on both these highways,” said Patel.

Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale too said that the highways can be managed only if the state transfers the toll amount to the BMC. Ironically, the Sena-BJP corporators are not aware that toll is collected towards flyovers in Mumbai— for repaying loan taken to build and maintain flyovers—and not the highways. This decision had been taken by the Sena-BJP government. Over the past two years, the Sena-BJP ruled BMC has come under fire for poor maintenance of the roads and failure to prevent potholes.