In a protest on Sunday, the toll collections at the Khed-Shivpur toll plaza were suspended after the authorities agreed to exempt vehicles from Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and areas along the road from paying toll there.
The protest which was called by localities and all political parties demanded to shift the existing toll plaza out of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority and completion of the development work of the entire 140-kilometre stretch. ‘Plaza Hatao Action Committee’ led the protest.
Some of the leaders present in the agitation were NCP MP from Baramati, Supriya Sule, BJP MLA Bhimrao Tapkir from Khadakwasla and Congress MLA from Bhor, Sangram Thopte.
Speaking to PTI, Sule mentioned that a joint meeting with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Reliance Infrastructure was to be held during the protest on Sunday. “It was decided that the vehicles (bearing MH-12 and MH-14 registration numbers) from Pune city, Bhor, Velha, Mulshi, Haveli and Purandar and Pimpri Chinchwad will be exempted from toll tax at Khed Shivapur toll plaza and two separate lanes on both sides (Pune to Satara and Satara to Pune) will be created for these vehicles,” she said.
Talking about the two demands laid, she added,” I have already spoken to Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and soon all the members of the action committee will meet him in Delhi to discuss these two demands.”
The convener of the action committee Dnyneshwar Darwatkar alleged that the condition of the road between the toll booth and the Nira river is deplorable, but still, the toll is being charged. He also added that the project should have been completed by 2013 but there has been an inordinate delay.
“Our demand is that the project should be completed on priority. The Khed Shivapur toll plaza falls under the jurisdiction of PMRDA and we demand that it should be shifted out of it.”