Thursday, August 4, 2022

Urban toll waiver proposal unprofitable for state

Mumbai: Although the Union Minister of Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari has announced to waive off the tolls in the city to ease the toll burden on the citizens of the urban areas, this announcement will not be beneficial as the National Highway Development Authority has no toll booths in the urban areas.

Gadkari announced the closure of tolls in the city on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha. Citizens of the city have to pay a toll of 75 km to use 10 km of road. Gadkari informed in the Rajya Sabha that this is the fault of the previous government and to correct this faulty system, tolls in the city will be waived soon. Gadkari has announced that the toll will be collected through sub-house based or number plate and urban areas will be excluded from that toll, they will not be tolled.

Although Gadkari’s announcement will bring relief to the people of some states, there are signs that Maharashtra will have to bear the toll for some more time. According to sources, all the toll booths at the entrance of Mumbai are under the jurisdiction of the State Road Development Corporation. Similarly, toll booths in cities like Baramati, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nashik, on the Mumbai-Pune expressway are also owned by the State Road Development Corporation. So toll has to be paid at this toll booth. Toll booths on national highways like Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Agra, Mumbai-Goa etc. are basically far away from cities. So what is the exact policy of central government regarding toll waiver. How much benefit will be seen only after getting a clear order from the center about how many km from the city limits toll exemption is given.

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