Mumbai : Industries Minister Narayan Rane has said that passengers need not worry as there will be no hike in toll fare.
Although Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party chief Raj Thackeray launched a violent campaign against toll policy in the state, Rane told Free Press Journal that, “There is no question of scrapping the toll policy. The state can’t do away with it”, Rane said, adding that, “Passengers need not worry about any hike too as there won’t be any hike of toll fare. In fact, some of the highways and roads, the time frame for toll collection would also be ending.”
The government of Maharashtra has appointed an infra committee to look into various infrastructure projects. After the agitation by MNS against toll fares, wherein they destroyed toll booths in the city and rest of Maharashtra, the committee has been addressing the issue of deciding toll fare for these new projects. Officials say, the one problem they have encountered with older projects is the fudging of estimates with no detailed break-up that give details for the total amount of toll fare they proposed to levy.
An official of infra committee said, “It is a fact that many of these companies have fudged their total estimates of the projects. They haven’t given minute details which can justify the toll fare or the break-down of expenditures.” Rane confirmed saying, “We all ministers are wary and when assessing the costs of the new projects we have not accepted broad cost estimates. We have asked them to give us minute details like cost of steel, cost of concrete, the expenditures that would point out to exact justification for toll recovery.”
After the pressure now from Nationalist Congress Party workers in Kolhapur too, to do away with toll, along with MNS and Shiv Sena, the government has promised to look into the main troubled toll booths. The committee will study the cases against which they have received complaints to take a final decision on those toll fares.
Thackeray started the campaign against toll fare in January, calling upon his workers to not pay toll fare and even slap those who asked them to pay. This led to widespread violence across the state.