Toll relief for motorists at Ghodbunder

THANE: The Versave toll naka at the Western entry-exit point to the dense Ghodbunder Road will shut operations from midnight of February 23 after the tenure for recovering its construction and maintenance cost ends following which it will now be handed over to local corporations.
Presently, only freight vehicles along with private and tourist buses were levied the tax for using the over 13km-long eight-lane highway while small domestic vehicles including autos were exempted. The MSRDC said they will gradually remove the tollbooths adding up space for free movement of vehicles.
The stretch sees over 10,000 vehicles including freight traffic between Gujarat, Western suburbs and Thane, Pune, JNPT crossing over daily in addition to tourist and suburban buses. Often, motorists complained about the stretch being badly maintained in addition to the plaza causing massive jams at either ends.
Kamlakar Phand, chief general manager, toll collections, MSRDC confirmed the tenure for recovery of Rs 250 cr construction cost of the road ended following which its maintenance will now be handed over to local bodies. A tally of taxes recovered was yet to be calibrated, said officials.
“The toll collection at the Versave naka will stop from midnight of Febraury 23 as MSRDC will cease to hold its liability. While Mira Bhayender will maintain around 4kms from the Fountain Hotel end, the remaining nine km stretch till Majiwada may be assigned to the Thane corporation for upkeep,” he said.
MLA Pratap Sarnaik who represents the stretch said shutting down of the toll plaza will not just help freight vehicles but also reduce congestion on the stretch for small vehicles that often got stuck for hours in the massive snarls here. “I will pursue with the state government and ensure the toll booths at Anand Nagar and LBS roads at the other Thane entry-exit points are also shut soon,” he said.


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