Clearing Kharghar toll booth becomes costly as MSRDC hikes charges
After Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) took over the Kharghar toll booth, it hiked the charges.
The toll booth near Kopra and Kamothe has been seeing traffic snarls in the past couple of days.
Bus driver Prashant Bhagat, 38, said, “Several drivers do not know about the increased charges and this results in arguments with the toll plaza staff before they eventually pay.”
PWD deputy engineer Ravindra Patil said, “As per norms, toll charges are revised every three years. But, charges remained the same at Kharghar toll plaza due to contractor issues. After state government’s order, the new charges have come into effect from April 1.”
Light vehicles have been given toll exemption at Kharghar booth.
“The toll charges were initially collected by Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd (SPTL) to enable it to recover its cost of concretising and road widening of Sion Panvel highway. However, following the exemption given to light motor vehicles from paying the toll, SPTL backed out,” said Patil.
The contract of the previous contractor was cancelled by public works department (PWD) on April 2. The new contractor was unable to pay around Rs26 lakh to the government daily. It claimed that collections were only around Rs21 lakh. The contract was terminated. He said, “The new charges will be applicable for one year.”
Ravi Desai, 44, a social worker, said, “With MSRDC taking over, new personnel are operating the plaza. They will take time to adjust to the work.”