Rise in toll rate by Maharashtra govt irks commuters in Thane

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Published on Sep 26, 2020 01:01 AM IST
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ByAnkita G Menon, Thane

Commuters and residents from Thane are irked with the state government notification that toll rates will increase at Anandnagar toll plaza along the Eastern Express Highway and LBS Marg, Mulund from October 1.

The one-way toll for a passenger car, which is 35, will increase to 40. In the pandemic situation, when commuters have to rely heavily on the roadways, this increase will bore a major hole in their pockets, claimed Thane residents.

The state government has issued a notification revising rates for toll recovery at the entry points to Mumbai on Thursday.

Shashikumar Nair, chairman of Yatra Samiti, Thane, said: “During this pandemic, when the local trains are not available for the common man to travel on a regular basis, the government should have avoided the hike in toll. It is always the residents of Thane who have to bear the pinch of the toll. Pressurising the common man seems to be the aim now.”

During elections, the main agenda of all political parties was to resolve the toll issue for the residents of Thane. Residents took out various campaigns as well in the past protesting the toll.

Kasber Augustine, citizen activist, said, “Thane residents have to bear these unjust tolls for a long time, it is an added burden for citizens during the pandemic. The least that they could do is to consider giving a return pass. Citizens are cooperating with the government during the pandemic. In return, these are small ways in which the government can reduce the burden, and most are travelling during this period as they do not have much option.”

Jayant Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of MEP Infra that manages the toll, said, “The toll rate revision is part of a process that takes place every three years as per ruling of the High Court in 2002. As per the notification, we will be implementing the same. It is not introduced newly but a sacrosanct rate. We have already started the process to implement RFID at Vashi toll naka. The same will be implemented at Mulund-Thane toll naka as well gradually. This will also help ease the traffic congestion caused due to toll collection.”

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