Mumbai: At a time when the BJP government is considering to make Maharashtra toll free, its ally Shiv Sena that controls the MSRDC department, is planning to set up toll plazas on the proposed six-lane Mumbai-Nagpur expressway. The cost of the project is Rs 30,000 crore and it will be recovered through toll, an official at Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said.
The BJP, during its state Assembly election campaign had announced to make Maharashtra free from toll booths. The government has exempted vehicles from paying toll at 63 booths across the state. Exemption of toll at Mumbai entry points for vehicles is also on the agenda of the state government. Minister for Public Work department (PWD) Chandrakant Patil had announced the toll policy in the recently concluded monsoon session of the state Legislature.
However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement of Mumbai-Nagpur Communication Super Expressway on the last day of the session. Eknath Shinde, Minister of Maharashtra State Road Development Department (MSRDC), had on the same day said there are several options to raise funds for the project.
A senior official in the MSRDC department, requesting anonymity, said there is no other option but to impose toll on the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway to recover costs of the project. “Some part of the proposed expressway will be developed by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), while other (will be done) by the MSRDC. We will ask NHAI for connectivity with state’s proposed expressway,” he said. The NHAI has developed a segment from Bhiwandi to Shirpur in Dhule district at the boundary of Maharashtra on Mumbai-Agra NH-6.
MSRDC has developed Sinnar-Ghoti-Aurangabad diversion connecting to NH-6 at Nashik.