New proposed bypass stretch on Pune-Mumbai expressway will have tolls
MSRDC, the nodal agency for the project, has decided to charge toll on the proposed bypass for 15 years from 2030 to 2045 to recover the project cost of rS 4,797 crore.pune Updated: Mar 26, 2018 15:00 IST
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is planning to construct a toll plaza on the proposed 13.3 kilometre bypass stretch of the Pune-Mumbai expressway between Khopoli and Kusgaon.
MSRDC, the nodal agency for the project, has decided to charge toll on the proposed bypass for 15 years from 2030 to 2045 to recover the project cost of rS 4,797 crore.“We have borrowed the money from various financial institutions keeping in mind the proposed toll plaza. According to the proposal, there is provision for a toll plaza in the proposed bypass project, which would be operative from 2030-2045 to recover money spent on the project. This will help us repay the money taken for various financial institutions,” said Shankar Dhote,chief engineer at MSRDC.
With the new toll plaza coming up on the expressway, commuters will not get any respite from paying tolls even as the existing toll centres are supposed to stop collecting money by 2030.
Activist Vivek Velankar, who had approached the Bombay high court with a petition seeking the cancellation of toll on the expressway, said,“We are campaigning to remove all toll plazas on the Pune-Mumbai expressway. All the existing toll plazas have completed their toll period and have to be closed. Instead of closing it, the government is now planning to increase the number of toll plazas on the expressway, which is an unfair move. The government should find out another way to raise funds for such projects.”
MSRDC had decided to construct a 13.3 kilometre bypass between Khopoli and Kusgaon till the Sinhgad Institute, Pune, with an eight-lane capacity and a 6.5 kilometre augmentation from Khalapur toll plaza to Khopoli exit, in November 2017. The stretch will include two tunnels and two bridges and will save almost 20 minutes of travel time between Pune and Mumbai.
Currently, the expressway and the national highway merge, as a result of which the six lanes see traffic intended for approximately 10 lanes. This slows down the traffic flow, especially in the ghat areas.The realignment will allow motorists to travel at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour and will cut down travel time between the two cities by 20 minutes, said officials.
MSRDC had received responses from eight foreign and eight Indian companies for the project, which is worth Rs 4,797 crore. The project is expected to be completed in three years.