Toll collection deadline for Mumbai-Pune expressway extended from 2019 to 2035

Toll collection deadline for Mumbai-Pune expressway extended from 2019 to 2035
Toll plaza on the Mumbai-Pune expressway

Toll collection on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will continue till 2035 instead of the earlier deadline of 2019 to accommodate the proposed expansion work, the State government said on Thursday.

While replying to a question by Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt in the Legislative Council, Public Works Department Minister Eknath Shinde said toll collection on the expressway will continue till 2035 to account for the Rs. 3,215 crore which will be spent on the expansion work.

The plan, which also involves upgradation from the current six lanes to eight lanes, will cost Rs 2,478.61 crore. The cost, along with expenditure on repairs and maintenance will be recovered through toll collection.

“The current toll tax collection contract is expiring on August 8, 2019. As of now, Rs. 5,318.42 crore have been collected as toll. However, the total cost of expanding the Expressway is estimated to be around Rs. 3,215 crore, as a result of which tax collection period has been extended till 2035,” Shinde said in his reply.

The reply did not address the exemption of toll for small vehicles which was recommended in a committee report. “The committee has asked the government to take decision on toll waiver and the matter is presently under consideration,” it said.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) floated bids for the project, which entails construction of four elevated (sets of two) roads, upgrading part of the existing expressway and four tunnels bypassing Khandala and Lonavala.

The project is expected to complete by 2020 or 2021, Shinde said.

Activists meanwhile want toll collection on the expressway to stop completely till the extension work starts as the agency responsible for the expressway’s maintenance, IRB, was supposed to collect Rs 2,864 crore as toll before 2019, which it has already managed to collect.

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