Local vehicles are exempt from paying toll at the Kharghar plaza, but many motorists flash friends’ IDs to avoid the toll; now every local vehicle will carry a Radio Frequency Identification Tag
Locals staying near the new Kharghar-Kamothe toll plaza will no more be given exemption from paying toll, if they are found without an exemption tag on their vehicles.
The authorities at Sion-Panvel Tollways Private Limited (SPTPL), which collects the toll from commuters at this point, said that local vehicles won’t be exempted from paying toll after April 15, if found without a tag.
Officials from the toll-operating agency revealed that the decision came after they found many motorists displaying their friend or relative’s identity proof in order to avoid paying the toll fee. In many cases, drivers are not local residents and take advantage of their friends who stay near the toll plaza, officials added.
“We had to take this decision as many times motorists used to create a ruckus and thereby affect the traffic flow at the toll. In vehicles not having the tag, co-passengers would show their identity or residency proof and refuse to pay the toll.
Many take undue advantage of this and do not pay the toll, as a result of which SPTPL has now made it mandatory for all locals staying near the toll to have an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag,” said Sharjil Sheikh, SPTPL spokesperson
The RFID tag is pasted on vehicles, so that when the vehicle enters the toll, the computerized sensors at the plaza detect it and make an appropriate entry. Locals from five villages including Panvel, Kharghar, Kamothe, Kopra and Kalamboli are exempted from paying the toll. The new toll was started in the month of January this year, in order to make collection for the Rs 1,200 crore spent on widening of the 23 km stretch between Sion and Panvel.
Officials from SPTPL told mid-day that till now, 22,000 tags have been distributed to locals from the five exempted areas near the toll naka. At present notice boards regarding the April 15 deadline have been put up near the toll plaza as well as near the Taloja link road, where the tags are issued.