On Sunday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray raised the issue of toll in the state again and appealed to his workers to refrain from paying toll till the state gave the details as to where the money collected was being used.
“Loot is going on in the name of toll. MNS first raised the issue of toll in Maharashtra, forcing the state government to close down 65 toll booths. However, toll is still being collected in the state and the government is unable to tell where the money is being used. I order all MNS workers not to pay toll till we are given details of where this money is,” said Thackeray during a function organized at Vashi by Navi Mumbai MNS unit.
He added, “MNS workers are not afraid of police cases. Let the police file cases, but we will keep on opposing toll. The matter is also being heard before the court but as of now we have only got dates and no result has emerged in this case. The matter was also being heard by chief minister and a committee of experts but the CM has expressed helplessness since they are in a coalition government and this portfolio is with NCP.”
He said, “Several big corporate houses are joining this business, owing to huge profits here. These companies are collecting toll, but where is the money going. Not only is the condition of these roads bad, it also lacks facilities like ladies toilet near the toll area. Companies have been collecting toll for years and no one knows where the money is used.”
He asked his workers to deal “strongly” with toll booth operators, who are forcing people to pay money. The issue of toll has hit the headlines after residents of Kolhapur opposed it. On similar lines corporators from Navi Mumbai and Mumbai, too, demanded exemption from toll for residents. Navi Mumbai has two toll booths at entry point, in Vashi and Airoli, respectively. Hours after Thackeray’s appeal MNS workers ransacked the toll booth in Airoli.