On Friday, Maharashtra Government announced exemption of light motor vehicles that include cars and SUVs besides state transport buses from payment of toll tax at 65 plazas.
Following up on its pre election promises to remove toll tax, the Maharashtra Government has announced 65 Toll free booths in Maharashtra. Light motor vehicles, cars and state transport buses will be exempted from payment of toll at 65 booths out of which 6 are near Mumbai. This announcement comes into effect from midnight of May 31, 2015 and will come as a relief to the scores of travellers commuting between Mumbai and Pune, Nashik and Goa in both cars and SUVs.
Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis made this announcement of scrapping toll at some roads and exempting cars and SUVs, which has come to the relief of a host of commuters. The decision has however, raised some serious concerns with private developers and that other states may also follow the same example. The Maharashtra government has declared that private developers will be compensated for loss of revenue but has failed to give details of how, when and to what extent this will be given.
Exempting light motor vehicles, cars, SUVs and state transport buses from toll tax may be in tune with the BJP-Shiv Sena government policy of doing away with all toll booths in the state. The decision will however cost the government INR 800 crores while the government will have to spend as much as INR 7,000 crores to compensate road developers which could post a challenge. In the meantime, the government has asked for time to fine tune the plan while they will also ensure that toll operators go not seek legal recourse and stay on the revocation of toll.