Pune: The protest called by locals and all political parties at the Khed Shivapur toll plaza on Pune-Satara Highway (NH4) on Sunday was suspended after the authorities agreed to exempt vehicles from Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and areas along the road from paying toll there.
The all-party protest held under the banner of the 'Plaza Hatao Action Committee' was to demand the shifting of the existing toll plaza out of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).
The protesters also demanded completion of the development work of entire 140-kms stretch.
NCP MP from Baramati, Supriya Sule, BJP's Khadakwasla MLA Bhimrao Tapkir and Congress MLA from Bhor Sangram Thopte were among the leaders who took part in the agitation.
Talking to PTI, Sule said that a joint meeting with the officials of Reliance Infrastructure (the company which has been given contract highway widening) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) held during the agitation on Sunday.
"It was decided that the vehicles (bearing MH-12 and MH-14 registration numbers) from Pune city, Bhor, Velha, Mulshi, Haveli and Purandar, and Pimpri Chinchwad will be exempted from toll tax at Khed Shivapur toll plaza and two separate lanes on both sides (Pune to Satara and Satara to Pune) will be created for these vehicles," she said.
She added that there are two key demands, one is shifting the toll plaza and the second is to complete the road widening project of 140-km stretch.
"I have already spoken to Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and soon all the members of the action committee will meet him in Delhi to discuss these two demands," she added.
Dnyneshwar Darwatkar, convener of the action committee against the toll plaza said the project should have been completed by 2013 but there has been inordinate delay.
"The condition of the road between the toll booth and the Nira river is deplorable, but still toll is being charged," he alleged.
"Our demand is that the project should be completed on priority. The Khed Shivapur toll plaza falls under the jurisdiction of PMRDA and we demand that it should be shifted out of it."
He added that they are satisfied with today's decision to exempt the toll tax to the vehicles Pune as Pimpri Chinchwad.
"As two more lanes are being created on each side of the plaza, it will ease the traffic congestion and benefit the locals," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and state PWD Minister Ashok Chavan, told reporters in Pune that the highway is an issue related to the NHAI, the Centre should resolve the problem.
"I will meet Union minister Nitin Gadkari to discuss issues like funds for infrastructure projects in Maharashtra," he said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.