Motorists will no longer have to pay Rs 130 toll while entering or halting at Terminal 2 of Mumbai International Airport after Shiv Sena activists demolished the toll booth on the grounds that the toll collection was illegal.
The protest was led by senior party leader Anil Parab, who warned that the entire aerodrome will be closed if the airport operator (MIAL) collects toll from motorists entering its premises.
Dozens of Sena activists forcibly closed the outlet in suburban Vile Parle on Tuesday, calling it “illegal” and shouting slogans against toll collection.
“If GVK (MIAL partner) restarts toll collection, serious consequences will follow. Today, we have protested outside and ensured closure of the toll booth. Tomorrow, we will not hesitate to go inside and close down the entire airport,” Anil Parab told reporters.
A sum of Rs. 130 is being illegally collected by MIAL from each vehicle entering the airport premises, he said.
“Thousands of people are being looted and put to great discomfort,” said Parab, who is also a member of the Legislative Council.
The airport, one of the busiest in the country, is run by Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) – a joint venture between GVK group, a private entity, and Airports Authority of India (AAI), a Central government agency.
When contacted, MIAL declined to comment on the issue. However, according to an airport official, only commercial vehicle operators have to pay Rs. 130 as entry fee.
“There is a designated spot to pick up and drop passengers. However, cab operators pick up passengers from anywhere in the airport area.
“To discourage them from doing so and also to decongest the airport premises, only commercial vehicle operators have to pay Rs. 130 as entry fee,” an official told PTI.
Incidentally, another airport official claimed that they had stopped collecting toll since the last three days, without commenting on whether it was done in the wake of Sena’s letter to MIAL on May 19, in which it had threatened agitation.
“The toll waiver might benefit motorists temporarily, but it will lead to more congestion and longer queues in the long run as there would be no incentive for people to enter or exit on time,” an official told Local Press Co.
In the past, flyers have repeatedly complained about the high handedness of officials who don’t spare any chance of levying the toll.Back to latest news