If you plan to take the Bandra-Worli Sea Link today, the best time would be between 7 pm and 9 pm because the route will be toll free during these two hours. The Hindi channel Imagine, in an initiative to promote its show, Zor Ka Jhatka— Total Wipeout, that premieres tonight, with actor Shah Rukh Khan as the host, will pick up the tab for all drivers.
Nikhil Madhok of Imagine confirms the news, saying it was SRK who came up with the idea. “We had a meeting with him recently to discuss what innovative steps could be taken to flag off the show. He came up with a one-line suggestion to help Mumbaikars reach home in time to watch it. We built on his idea and came up with the notion of paying the toll for all the cars that pass down the Sea Link today between a couple of peak traffic hours,” he informs.
What about sponsoring tickets in buses and trains that are other popular modes of public transport in the city? Madhok admits that the thought passed through their minds but it would have burnt an extra large hole in the pockets of the channel. So, they decided to stick to the Sea Link.
“We’ve stationed our personnel at the toll stations on the sea link on both sides. A limited number of cars use the route which is not the case with public transport. But we have approached the authorities to clear the roads during these two hours,” Mandhok says.
But does clearing a toll road really mean bigger eyeballs? The channel and the actor believe so. “The show is good, Shah Rukh has shot a number of episodes and they’re great fun,” asserts Madhok. “This initiative may not bring in more viewers but it will certainly be a gentle nudge to them to tune into our game show at 9 pm tonight.”