The Maharashtra CM gave some relief ahead of the Ganpati festival, celebrated with much enthusiasm, especially in Konkan. Shinde government announced a waiver in toll collection from August 27 to September 11. Ruling and opposition parties made the demand in the monsoon session concluded on Thursday and also by various citizens for waiver in toll collection for the Ganpati festival.
CM Shinde told the media to facilitate hassle free and comfortable journeys he has directed the transport department, traffic police and regional transport officers and police to make stickers named “Ganeshotsav 2022 Konkan Darshan” at the police stations, traffic police chowkies and RTO offices. Further, the CM has also asked the police and transport departments to disseminate information regarding the facility of pass and stickers and its availability for the benefit of the citizens travelling for the Ganapati festival.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is also the chairman of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, said that the toll waiver will be on Mumbai Goa and Mumbai Bangalore highways and also on the state Public Works Department roads. The Public Works Department has issued the government resolution for the benefit of the travellers heading to Konkan.
Raj Thackeray is already agitating for the tax-free rolls. For society to function effectively, there needs to be a rule of law. In democracies, citizens charge the government of the day to establish and enforce the same. It is the duty of the citizens to obey the laws that their government has established. However, since they also made a government of people, it is also prone to error. It is likely that the government makes laws that are unjust.
Government has made a case for collecting tolls saying it was recovering costs of investment and maintenance of infrastructure it has created. If the costs have not been recovered, the government does have the right to collect the toll and Raj has no business in protesting and imposing his muscle power on the government.
If the costs have already been recovered and additional money is being collected on fraudulent pretexts, and the government has not responded to reasonable & peaceful requests for this information, a more aggressive action is justified as a legitimate form of protest. An aggressive action can sometime draw attention to an issue and force a resolution
It is right not to pay toll tax even when the toll tax has got his revenue from an average person. Why are they collecting tax even though they have achieved their decided total tax amount? Where does this extra money go? Why are they looting the public for years and years for that road? Even after 5 years they are collecting toll tax for the same road? Are the roads so expensive that you have to pay tax for years and years? And still you say they have not got the required amount of tax for that road.
Reports suggest that even Union minister Nitin Gadkari, stated it does not exempt anyone from paying toll fee. However, it allows one unlimited trip through the toll plaza against a monthly pass if the vehicle is personal and based within 20 kms from the toll plaza. It also comes with the condition that there is no other alternative route for the vehicle to avoid the national highway.
Nitin Gadkari recently said that his ministry is months away from reforming the toll collection system across national highways. Gadkari told Parliament that his ministry will remove all toll plazas from the country in the next six months. He said a GPS system installed in a car or computerised number plates will be used in future for toll fee collection based on actual distance travelled on a National Highway.
CM Eknath’s temporary announcement is definitely a relief, but the government should really work on tax-free tolls because it’s been years people have already paid enormous tax on each toll plaza and there is no accountability.