mid-day editorial: It's a toll order, but let us keep the peace
Today, we will see the true test of whether things have improved in the four weeks since the demonetisation drive began and toll plazas announced a temporary waiver of toll charges
Today, we will see the true test of whether things have improved in the four weeks since the demonetisation drive began and toll plazas announced a temporary waiver of toll charges. Mumbaikars will be hard pressed to reach their workplace in time as this will be the first working day when Mumbaikars will once again have to queue up and shell out their change at the toll booths.
The weekend itself witnessed long queues and bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching as long as 5 km. A report in this paper stated that motorists were using Rs 2,000 notes to pay a toll of less than Rs 100 and toll operators were finding it difficult to cough up change for so many people. One hopes that the authorities have made at least some more arrangements to deal with the rush that is expected today onwards.
For citizens too, it is important that they plan their trip in advance. Anticipate more time than usual at the toll nakas and factor that into your commute. If you have a very urgent appointment, then perhaps try to avoid the toll plaza, if you can. Commuters on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL), for instance, do have another option, and perhaps it is best to stick to that till things get smoother.
For those who do take routes with toll nakas, though, remember to have patience in plenty. With the currency tension and frayed tempers, it is a powder keg out there. Check your temper — and this goes for both, the drivers and the toll officials.
The cashless options for toll payment are on the rise and that is a good sign. Regular commuters now need to explore these alternatives, but in the meanwhile, it is all about mutual respect and co-operation for those in the queue. Don’t let the road toll take a toll on your mental health and peace.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day