Light motor vehicles and SUVs will not have to pay toll at the 80 toll plazas across Maharashtra, the state cabinet decided on Thursday — a move in line with a pre-poll promise by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
However, vehicles will have to continue paying toll at the five entry and exit points of Mumbai, on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and the Bandra-Worli sea link.
A government official said the exemption of lighter vehicles from paying toll will not mean increased toll on heavy vehicles.
The state government has also decided to buy back 11 toll nakas that are nearing completion, at a cost of around Rs 227 crore. None of these are near Mumbai.
The government is expected to make the announcement in the state assembly on Friday.
After it came to power, the BJP-led government constituted the CP Joshi committee to give recommendations on charting the policy framework for scrapping toll in the state.
The exempted vehicles make up 35% of the total traffic crossing the state’s check points.
The move is likely to cost the state almost Rs 630 crore — Rs 405 crore is the revenue toll nakas maintained by the public works department (PWD) will lose, while Rs 225 crore is on roads maintained by the MSRDC.
The state cannot exempt vehicles from paying toll at the five Mumbai points – Dahisar, Airoli, Vashi, LBS Marg and Mulund, and three on the Mumbai-Pune expressway – as the vehicles crossing these nakas account for 90% of the total vehicle movement in the state. Exempting light vehicles here would put a burden of around Rs 3,000 crore on the state.