No toll at Thane, Airoli booths till Ganeshotsav

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has decided to suspend collection from light motor vehicles at Mumbai’s three entry point from Tuesday till September 23— the last day of Ganeshotsav.
There are a total of five toll points in Mumbai. Toll has been at the two booths between Thane and Mulund— L B S Marg and Anand Nagar on Eastern Express Highway —and one at .

Officials said they decided to suspend toll due to increased congestion on these stretches due to the ongoing repair work at the Mumbra bypass. Work on the bypass is on since mid-May.

So far, 40% of the work is complete and state authorities are hopeful that the new eight-lane road will be ready by September 10—before the start of the festival. Shutting of the bypass has led to major jams even during off-peak hours and alternative routes such as Eastern Express Highway have been handling the extra load.

“We have decided to suspend toll at these three points from Tuesday till the end of Ganeshotsav on September 23. Even though work on the Mumbra bypass will be completed by September 10, we have decided to extend the relief till the end of the festival,” said Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is minister in-charge of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

Officials said the highway toll booth sees a month average of 11 lakh vehicles and collects Rs 5.5 crore as toll. Eight lakh vehicles pass through the Airoli toll point every month, bringing in Rs 4 crore collection. The one at L B S Marg records a monthly average of 1.5 lakh vehicles and collects Rs 95 lakh.

“The state government will pay the concessionaire or the toll operator the toll amount that he loses during the suspenion,” said an official.

Officials said on July 5, the department had issued a circular informing commuters to either pay at the Airoli toll point or the Eastern Express Highway one to avoid congestion. The concessionaire, though, charged them at both the stops. It was therefore decided to suspend the toll till the bypass work is complete.
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