Pune, 28th January 2024: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials reported a significant increase in the number of vehicles passing through the Khed-Shivapur and Anewadi toll plazas on the Pune-Bengaluru Highway during the Republic Day long weekend. The surge amounted to a 25% jump in traffic, with an average of 80,000-85,000 vehicles crossing both toll plazas each day, compared to the usual 65,000 and 60,000 vehicles for Khed-Shivapur and Anewadi plazas, respectively.
NHAI officials from the Pune division assured that, despite the heightened traffic, the situation was currently under control. An official stated, “We anticipate the number of vehicles to touch 1 lakh at the Khed-Shivapur toll plaza by Sunday evening.”
To address the increased traffic, NHAI officials revealed that additional lanes were opened on the Pune side of the Khed-Shivapur toll plaza, totaling 12 lanes on each side. Despite the additional lanes, NHAI deployed extra personnel as a precautionary measure for the long weekend.
The NHAI official mentioned that, if necessary, toll collection could be temporarily halted to ensure smooth traffic flow. “For around 2 minutes, all gates are opened, allowing vehicles to pass freely,” he explained.
Sanjay Kadam, Pune project director of NHAI, stated that all vehicles passing through both toll plazas were equipped with FASTag stickers. While acknowledging a 97-98% toll collection rate through FASTag, Kadam highlighted the growth in toll collection in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching Rs 430 crore as opposed to Rs 388 crore in 2022.