Toll collection plazas continue to invite motorists’ wrath across the state. Motorists have been refusing to pay toll for several days now in protest against the poor road conditions.
On Saturday, this anger boiled over as Shiv Sena workers ransacked a toll plaza at Hadgaon in Nanded district and Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers protested violently at a plaza at Paithan in Aurangabad district.Nanded is Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s bastion. After a recent public outcry, Chavan asked motorists to stop paying toll till the toll collectors repaired the roads they are managing.
A Public Works Department (PWD) said on condition of anonymity: “We have issued the necessary directives and we will review the situation again.” The PWD has issued notices to 175 private operators to repair the roads and bridges they manage or forego toll.
However, few operators have complied, alleged the Sena workers in Nanded. In Paithan, the agitators accused the toll operator of not using the money to repair the busy highway.
Social crusader Anna Hazare too has threatened a statewide agitation, asking Chavan to take action against negligent toll collectors. In Mumbai and Thane, 14 toll plazas have been under fire from motorists. In the past 10 days, few motorists have paid toll there.