Raj Thackeray, leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has raised objections against collection of toll tax. He and his party are not against such collections but are demanding transparency on all amounts collected. He reiterates that such collection of toll is unnecessary as costs have already been recovered and hence the party had recently gone on a rampage demanding its closure. As per international standards, toll taxes need to be collected only till costs have been recovered.
After that toll should be limited to costs of repairs and maintenance of roads which should equate to a negligible amount. Tolls were introduced in Mumbai in the 1990’s when various flyovers and new roads were coming up across Mumbai and Thane. Thackeray has stationed his party workers at toll booths to estimate average amounts collected and they have surmised that across the Pune Mumbai highway, daily collection should be to the tune of Rs.1.37 crores which equates to Rs.456 crores annually. MNS have been warned against such anti toll tax drive but they are not bowing down to such threats and continue with their agitation and have even organized morchas across the city of Mumbai while have also put up various hoardings in this regard.
Thackeray has urged citizens to desist from paying toll till there is transparency in the collection process. Payment of such toll taxes are uncalled for an unwarranted specially in the light of the pitiable road conditions and the fact that these roads are already taking a major toll on the condition of vehicles. This sort of standoff, and engagement in acts that create tense situations isn’t new to India. The Maruti Manesar plant has continuously been plagued by lockouts and production loss in the past 20 months. Until there is a strict need to follow a code of conduct, India will continue being held at ransom time and again by varied political groups. Highways, exit entry points, and toll plazas are heavy traffic areas and the last thing one needs is an added bottleneck in the form of coordinated protesters.