No toll on any road in Maharashtra till Nov 11, including all of Mumbai’s tolls

No toll on any road in Maharashtra till Nov 11, including all of Mumbai's tolls
Queue at Bandra-Worli sealink on Wednesday morning. Picture Courtesy: Anand Siva

Following the outrage over the long queues at toll nakas earlier today, Maharashtra government has declared all state roads toll-tax free until the midnight of November 11.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the discontinuation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from midnight, essentially making the notes defunct for day to day transactions.

The move, which is aimed to curb the hoarding of black money in the country, took the entire nation by surprise. However, owing to the sudden nature of the announcement, many were left with currency they could no longer use.

By Wednesday morning, toll booths across the country witnessed long queues as motorists ‘unanimously’ presented Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for paying the toll.

Since toll collections boots had not been authorized to collect the old currency, all of Mumbai’s entry and exit points, along with the toll on the Mumbai-Pune expressway saw kilometre long queues.

The inability of operators to accept old currency and unwillingness of motorists to tender change led to multiple altercations.

Thousands took to social media to share their plight and urged authorities to provide ‘some relief’ from the never ending queues.

Taking cognizance of the situation, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis directed all toll operators to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

At the same time, the highways ministry suspended toll collection on roadways across the country till November 11 in view of the overnight demonetisation.

“It has been decided to suspend Toll across all National Highways till midnight of 11th November to facilitate smooth traffic movement,” informed Union minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari.

After the Union minister’s declaration, Fadnavis also announced a waiver for all tolled roads across the state.

“The Maharashtra government has decided that all state roads will be toll-tax free until 11th November midnight,” Fadnavis tweeted.

He further clarified that the waiver will be applicable for all tolls in the state, including the Bandra-Worli sealink and Mumbai-Pune expressway.

“This includes all the tolls in Mumbai (entry points and within Mumbai) and Maharashtra,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Mumbai Metro also refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. But they too started accepting older currency following a clarification by the Ministry of Finance.

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