Temporary Toll Exemption At Somatne On Old Pune-Mumbai Highway

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Pune, 14th March 2023: Toll charges at the Somatne toll booths on the old Pune-Mumbai highway have been temporarily exempted following a successful hunger strike by the Somatne Toll Naka Hatav Kriti Samiti. Public Works Minister Ravindra Chavan gave his assurance that vehicles on the old highway will not be charged toll at Somatne toll booths until the committee meets with the Shinde-Fadnavis government. As a result, Kishor Aware, the leader of the committee, called off his indefinite fast.

After the assembly session ends, Aware will have a meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss whether the toll booth will be permanently closed or not. For now, vehicles will not be charged tolls at this particular toll booth. However, Aware warned that if the IRB obstructs vehicle owners, they will be held responsible for any consequences.

The committee has been actively working to remove toll booths for the past few years. Aware of the Sarva Sutra Committee began an indefinite hunger strike last Saturday to draw attention to the issue. The state government took notice of this, and Public Works Minister Ravindra Chavan visited the Somatne toll booth to address the situation.

Meanwhile, all the hunger strikers descended on the old Pune-Mumbai highway, temporarily blocking traffic.

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During his address, Minister Ravindra Chavan promised that vehicles, other than transport, would be exempted from toll charges. He also assured the protesters that their concerns would be conveyed to the Shinde-Fadnavis government and that they would work towards finding a resolution. After the meeting, Aware ended his hunger strike with lemon water.

It remains to be seen whether the toll booth will be permanently removed or not, as this will be decided during the upcoming meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis. However, the temporary toll exemption has provided some relief for vehicle owners on the old Pune-Mumbai highway.


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