There is some good news for motorists traveling towards Navi Mumbai, Panvel and Pune, as from June 1 light motor vehicles (LMV) will get toll waiver at Kharghar toll plaza on the Sion-Panvel highway.
Speaking to mid-day, the state Public Works Department (PWD) Eknath Shinde confirmed that from June onwards LMV’s would not have to pay toll at Kharghar-Kamothe toll plaza.
Earlier, in January this year the PWD had started the new toll plaza exempting motorists from five villages including Panvel, Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalamboli and Kopra. After the new toll plaza was thrown open, motorists going towards Panvel and Pune had to pay toll twice at Vashi and Kharghar, which are situated within a distance of 15 kms.
“Light motor vehicles will not have to pay toll from June 1, the exemption is only for small cars and not for others,” Eknath Shinde confirmed on Friday.
It should also be noted that traffic bottlenecks at the toll would also reduce once the waiver for LMV comes into practice. Everyday during the morning and evening peak hours, the new toll plaza on the Sion-Panvel highway witnesses long traffic snarls.
At the time when it was thrown open, the toll plaza was vandalized by a group of people belonging from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
It should be noted that Former Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur had even resigned as MLA last year over the Kharghar-Kamothe toll issue and had later joined BJP and is currently a BJP MLA.
In the month of July 2014, the Congress-NCP headed former government had put on hold the decision to open the toll plaza at Kharghar as not only there was opposition to the toll from people but also from political parties in opposition. The former government also feared that the toll issue might backfire during assembly election and so the opening of toll plaza was put on hold.
The Rs 1200 crore project has been developed on Built Operate and Transfer basis and 23 km road between Sion and Panvel was widened and concretization work was done.