Pune, 3rd May 2022: 46 organizations, including office-bearers of various political parties, have started an agitation demanding an end
to the illegal collection of tolls from the citizens of Pune on the Pune-Satara road and removal of the Khed Shivapur toll plaza.
As a part of this, a protest movement and a signature drive were launched at Katraj Chowk where residents responded spontaneously. The co-gradation work of Pune-Satara road, which is part of Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway No. 4, was started in October 2010. Reliance Infra continued to delay the work.
While the work was expected to be completed by March 2013, it is still not completed after 12 years. The toll collection contract was withdrawn from the contractor a few days back after agitation and never ending complaints in this regard and now the toll is being recovered from the National Highways Authority.
It was decided to exempt vehicles registered in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad from toll at Khed Shivapur toll tank till the completion of road works. Accordingly, implementation was also done. However, toll collection from vehicles in both the cities has been on for the last few days as the road works are yet to be completed. Therefore, anger is being expressed by the citizens.
Pune residents have to pay a toll of 100 km toll for 20 km and as per the rules, an agitation has been started against the toll collection saying that it is ethically wrong. As a start, a signature drive and a dam agitation was organized on May 1 at Katraj Chowk.
Ankit Yadav, project manager of National Highways Authority, came to the agitation site from Mauli Darwatkar, convener of Khed Shivapur toll removal committee. MLA Bhimrao Tapkir warned of further agitation. Baba Shinde of All India Transport Association, Abhay Chhajed of Congress, Shailesh Sonawane, Vilas Borge of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Dr. Sanjay Jagtap, Aam Aadmi Party’s Vijay Kumbhar, former mayor Datta Dhanakwade and Vishal Tambe, Yuvraj Beldare, Balasaheb Dhanakwade, Varshan Tapkir, Mahesh Wable, Appa Renuse, Sudhir Kondhare, Nitin Kadam, Rajendra Kondhare, Santosh Farande, Sachin Koli, Shahaji Arsul, Rajendra Kunjir and others participated in the agitation.