If you are driving to Navi Mumbai or Pune, you may have to pay more toll from next month.
Going back on its promise to free the people of toll, the state government has decided to open a new toll plaza at Kharghar on Sion- Panvel highway in a month or two.
Once this is operational, commuters will have to shell out money at two toll plazas – Vashi and Kharghar, within a distance of 15km.
Public works department (PWD) minister Chandrakant Patil told HT: “We are discussing the proposal to exempt five villages located near the toll plaza. The final decision will be taken in a week’s time.”
The proposal to start a toll plaza was put on hold in July this year by the former Congress-NCP government, fearing a backlash during Assembly elections.
The Rs1,200-crore project has been developed on build-operate-transfer (BOT), which included widening and concretisation of the 23-km highway.
Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had, in July, constituted a committee to check if the project can be bought from the contractor, after NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar made suggestion that the toll should be waived off by buying the project.
The committee, however, had recommended waiving toll for five villages — Panvel, Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalamboli and Kopra.
“The committee report did not say anything about scrapping the project. We expect that the notification to start toll collection will be issued soon,” said a senior PWD official, requesting anonymity.
The state may issue notification to waive off toll for five villages next week, informed Panvel BJP MLA Prashant Thakur.