Ahead of the Assembly polls, the Maharashtra government Monday night revised its toll policy, a politically sensitive issue, which has attracted huge attention. Under the policy, road projects to be completed with budgetary provisions will not attract levy.
Also, road projects costing under Rs 200 crore will not be executed through public-private partnership. The decision to revise the toll policy was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
According to government officials, "Toll for future projects would be on per kilometre basis. If the cost of a road is more than Rs 10 crore, the toll would be 1.5 times of the cost."
The toll on express highways would be 1.25 times and at places where the highway will be expanded to six lanes the levy would be 75% till completion of work. The State Transport buses have been completely exempted from toll, they said.
On a single road, distance between two toll plazas would be 45km. Also, distance between two toll collection centres on two different roads will not be less than 20km, the officials said.
Motorists will have amenities like washrooms, drinking water and parking space, among other things, at the toll units. They will also get discount ranging from 10 to 20 per cent on purchase of Rs 50 to Rs 100 coupons.
Early last month, the government had announced closure of 44 toll plazas, a move that came in the backdrop of protests over levy of road tax in the state. There are 166 toll plazas in the state.
In February, Raj Thackeray-led MNS had launched a state-wide stir against the toll collection policy, which had turned violent.