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Government Commits to Toll Reforms Following MNS President Raj Thackeray’s Press Conference

Raj Thackeray Discloses Promises for Toll Improvements

Mumbai| October 13, 2023 : In a pivotal meeting held at the Shivtirtha residence of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray, significant assurances were given by the state government in response to concerns surrounding the controversial toll system. The meeting, attended by Minister Dada Bhuse and other high-ranking officials, culminated in a press conference led by Raj Thackeray, during which he unveiled the government’s commitments and recounted past negotiations.

“Nine years ago, I sought resolution at the Sahyadri guest house to address toll concerns. Back then, I was informed that the toll agreement was in effect until 2026. Regrettably, the necessary adjustments to this agreement have yet to materialize. With the recent hike in toll rates at Mumbai’s gates, this issue has resurfaced. The government has now made promises and requested a one-month window to fulfill them,” revealed Raj Thackeray.

Promises by the Government to Raj Thackeray:

  1. Vehicle Counting Cameras: The government, along with MNS, will install cameras to tally the number of vehicles entering toll booths for the next 15 days.
  2. Facilities Compliance: All amenities outlined in the agreement, including clean toilets, first aid services, ambulances, and proper lighting, must be provided.
  3. Complaint Mechanism: A system for lodging complaints will be established within the Ministry. A dedicated mobile number will be available for reporting toll booth-related issues.
  4. Structural Audits: An independent structural audit of all flyovers and subways under contract will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
  5. Rollback Commitment: The government has pledged to review and potentially cancel the toll rate increase in Thane within one month.
  6. Reintroduction of Yellow Line: The yellow line, previously at every toll booth, will be reintroduced. Vehicles waiting beyond this line will not be charged until the queue subsides.
  7. FASTag Assurance: If FASTag fails to work at a toll booth and a payment message is received later, individuals can file a complaint.
  8. Information Boards: Prominent information boards will be installed at toll booths, displaying toll amounts collected, remaining balance, and funds pending collection.
  9. Centralized Toll Payment: Toll collection will be consolidated at specific locations, such as Anandnagar or Airoli.
  10. Hariomnagar Bridge: A bridge will be constructed from Mulund Mhada Colony for the residents of Hariomnagar in Mulund.
  11. Federal Roads Maintenance: The state government will initiate discussions with the central government regarding the closure of toll booths on roads under federal jurisdiction within the next 15 days.
  12. Old Toll Booth Closure: A decision by the Chief Minister is anticipated within the next 15 days regarding the shutdown of 29 old toll booths operated by the Public Works Department and 15 by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation.
  13. CAG Audit: Mumbai Entry Point, Mumbai-Pune Expressway, and Rajiv Gandhi Sealink will undergo audits by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
  14. Heavy Vehicle Discipline: Minister Dada Bhuse has committed to enforcing lane discipline among heavy vehicles within the coming month.

These government assurances mark a significant step in addressing long-standing concerns over the toll system, with Raj Thackeray’s press conference shedding light on the path forward for improved transparency and service quality at toll booths across Maharashtra.

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