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Updated January 10th, 2024 at 21:16 IST

BAD NEWS for Mumbaikars: Toll Charges on this Thane Bridge to Continue

The Vashi Toll Plaza is a crucial link between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai with private vehicles alone contributing close to Rs 70 crore in toll fees.

Moumita Mukherjee
BAD NEWS for Mumbaikars: Toll charges on this Thane Bridge to continue
BAD NEWS for Mumbaikars: Toll charges on this Thane Bridge to continue | Image:Representative (PTI)
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The promise of relief from toll charges for commuters using the Thane Creek Bridge (TCB) or Vashi toll booth after the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link's (MTHL) launch has taken an unexpected turn. Despite assurances from the Maharashtra Government to abolish tolls on the TCB once the MTHL operates, tolls will persist on this route as the state government has reconsidered its previous decision.

A preparatory survey by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2016 pledged the removal of tolls on private vehicles using the existing TCB upon the MTHL's inauguration. Contrary to these assurances, as the MTHL opens for public use this week, tolls along the TCB will continue.

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Back in 2002, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had decided to impose tolls on vehicles entering and exiting Mumbai through various entry points. The toll collection rights were delegated to Mumbai Entry Point Toll Ltd (MEPL) until September 2027, later to be taken over by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority post-contract expiration.

The rationale behind toll collection was to fund Mumbai's capital-intensive infrastructure projects. MSRDC is slated to maintain toll collection rights on the Thane Creek Bridge, where a third bridge linking Mumbai and Navi Mumbai is currently under construction, expected to finish this year. Toll collection until 2036 is proposed by MSRDC to cover construction costs.

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The Vashi Toll Plaza, a crucial link between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai, witnessed over 2.35 crore vehicles passing through in 2022-23, with private vehicles alone contributing close to Rs 70 crore in toll fees.

The Thane Creek Bridge 3 (TCB-3), an expansion project comprising two separate three-lane bridges, aims to provide seamless travel between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Originally, the TCB-1, built in 1973, faced disrepair, leading to the subsequent construction of TCB-2 in 1987 and its public opening in 1997.

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Published January 10th, 2024 at 21:16 IST

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