Shiv Sena workers protest to close toll on Pune-Satara National Highway

Updated: Nov 25, 2019, 20:41 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

The six-lane work on Pune Satara National Highway was supposed to be completed by March 2013, but its been more than six years since then and the work is still pending

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

The long-pending work of the 14-year-old Pune Satara National Highway expansion project which has resulted in a chaos of traffic and an increase in toll amount; has resulted in agitation and the local resident demand to close down the toll. On Tuesday, Shiv Sena workers took to the Pune Satara National Highway and raised their voice to close down the Khed Shivapur Toll Naka.

The Pune Satara highway connects from Dehu Road, Pune to Satara which is a 140-kilometer stretch and it of a four-lane road. It was sanctioned in 1999. In 2004, work began on the four-lane and it was completed by 2010. Later, the four-lane road was converted into a six-lane road. For the entire road work, a tender of Rs 1,724 crore was passed and as such, a Toll Naka at Khed Shivapur and Anewadi was built to collect toll taxes till 2034.

As per the record, the Pune Satara Highway used to get Rs 90 crores annually. Every year, a five-percent increase was made in toll taxes. In March 2013, the six-lane work was supposed to be completed but its been more than six years since then and the work is still pending.

While speaking to mid-day, Sena's local leader Kuldeep Konde said, "The work is pending and the road is not so good to travel. Then on what bases they are taking money. As per the tender, the work was supposed to be completed by 2013 but it's been more than six years since the work is still not completed. There are potholes all over. If toll contracts are taken, then the road must be maintained by them."

He further added, "Due to a job, many people who cannot afford to stay in Pune, travel from the Pune-Satara National Highway and other connecting routes from Haveli, Bhor, and others. They are forced to pay toll taxes. They must be stopped from collecting toll taxes. At present, the population is about 8,000 and only 3,000 people have got free traveling pass."

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