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Toll issue becomes talking point in Thane again

Citizens forums in Thane have taken up the initiative to raise awareness about the issue again.

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Toll issue becomes talking point in Thane again
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    With the country gearing up for the general elections in 2019, the issue of toll has cropped up once again as the hot topic for campaigns in Thane. Citizens forums in Thane have taken up the initiative to raise awareness about the issue again.

    Vehicles entering Thane city have to pay toll at four nakas — Anandnagar, Kharegaon, Mulund west and Airoli. In July 2016, Thane's Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde announced that toll should not be collected from vehicles if the traffic at the toll nakas crosses the yellow line. The announcement was a prelude to the 2017 municipal elections in Thane. The Thane Citizen's Forum (TCF) initiated a 'No Toll Before Poll' campaign to make people aware of the yellow line rule.

    With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the issue is in the limelight yet again. To make sure it doesn't turn into another election gimmick of politicians, TCF has decided to intensify the campaign. "We noticed that the yellow line rule was not being followed at the toll naka. In fact, officials at the toll naka are not even aware of it nor can they see if vehicles are beyond the yellow line," said Kasber Augustine, president, TCF. The TCF has decided to post volunteers at the yellow line to help toll officials implement the rule. "Our volunteers will inform the motorists as well as toll officials that they are not supposed to pay toll in case they are behind the yellow line during traffic congestion," explained Augustine. "Last year, we put up boards towards Mumbai and Thane to inform people about the rule but now they have been removed and I have requested for them to put again."

    TCF will also distribute pamphlets and follow the campaign aggressively. "We want people to be aware of this benefit throughout the year and not just during elections. We will plan more such initiatives," added Augustine.

    Meanwhile, Shinde had a meeting with Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials where he instructed them about the strict implementation of the toll rule. He also directed them to appoint five officials at every queue for the quick movement of vehicles. He also asked them to consider the possibility of giving a return pass to those vehicles that return within 24 hours through the toll naka.

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