March 25, 2011
Pune: Regular commuters on highways will soon heave a sigh of relief, with not having to spend long time at toll booths, particularly during the peak hours, as the Public Works Department (PWD) will soon introduce the concept of electronic prepaid cards, which will enable the vehicles a smooth passage through dedicated lanes.
‘Mahapass,’ the prepaid cards, will be similar to the mobile rechargeable cards, which will facilitate the vehicles to cross the toll booths without stopping while passing through dedicated lanes and simultaneously, the requisite toll being deducted.
With the tenders having already been floated, the PWD will soon launch a pilot project on the Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad-Jalna state highway by May this year through private parties, Subhash Thorave, an official from PWD, told Sakàl Times. After the success of the pilot project, the facility will be expanded on other highways.
There are seven toll booths between Pune and Jalna, and each booth has different toll charges. Whatever be the amount fixed at these booths, it would be deducted from the Mahapass cards, Thorave said. The general experience is vehicle owners get irritated at these toll booths because of clearance time of anywhere between two to 15 minutes, depending on the rush.
Onwards vehicles will not need to pay the cash on toll booths as Public Works Department (PWD) is planning to introduce the prepaid cards for paying the toll on these booths. These card holders will get dedicated lane on toll booth to pass directly and will not need to stop on toll booths. The required amount will be automatically deducted from the card once the vehicle will pass through the toll booth.
This prepaid card will be known as Mahapass and it is same like mobile recharge card. Citizens can recharge it anywhere. PWD is implementing the pilot project on Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad-Jalna stretch.
‘Mahapass,’ the prepaid cards, will be similar to the mobile rechargeable cards, which will facilitate the vehicles to cross the toll booths without stopping while passing through dedicated lanes.