HC questions Maha govt decision to waive road-toll waiver for LMVs
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today questioned Maharashtra government’s decision to waive road-toll for light motor vehicles (LMVs) and asked it to reconsider it.
“If you do not want to reconsider the decision, then we will do it for you,” said Chief Justice Mohit Shah.
The division bench of Justice Shah and Justice Anil Menon questioned the decision to waive toll for LMVs at the Sion-Panvel toll plaza here and asked the government to explain how it would serve public interest as the financial burden will merely shift from road-using public to the government.
The state government had, on January 3, 2015, issued a notification authorizing Sion-Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd, which operates toll plazas, to charge Rs 30 per LMV.
On May 26, the government notified that auto rickshaws, cars, jeeps, taxis and three-wheeler delivery vans were exempted from paying toll at Sion-Panvel toll plaza.
Sion Panvel Tollways challenged the May notification before the HC.
The judges today asked the government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani how this exemption to LMVs would benefit the state.
“How is this decision in public interest? In future, how will you (government) undertake development work? It requires money. On what basis did you reach the decision to exempt the small vehicles?” asked the Chief Justice.
The January notification had exempted residents of nearby villages of Kharghar, Kopra, Kalamboli, Kamothe and Panvel from paying the toll. The court said this exemption was understandable because the locals had to pay toll unnecessarily (even for a short journey outside).