Think Zone

Vikrant Gharat- General secretary of Maval lok sabha constituency

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There is an ongoing uproar on Sion-Panvel highway against the Kharghar toll naka. Team Socioethika had the opportunity to meet Mr. Vikrant Gharat who is leading the toll agitation.

Interview with Socioethika

Vikrant Gharat- General secretary of Maval lok sabha constituency
Mr. Pratap Gawand- Senior Congressman
Mr. Abhijeet Patil- Maharashtra Pradesh social media.

What inspired you to fight for the issue of toll?

The existing social scenario is highly responsible for this social out rising. Looking at the enormous number of existing toll plazas and their presence since so many decades which directly squeezes out wealth from the wallet of common man. This igniting spark for the social political uprising under the dynamic leadership of MLA of Panvel constituency, Mr. Prashant G Thakur and veteran leaders like Ramsheth Thakur Saheb and congress president RCL.

There is an interesting history behind the existence of toll plazas. Way back in 1991 during the regime of Mr. Narsimha Rao, LPG policy came into existence. If Liberalization Privatization Globalization would not have come the economy would have suffered a serious set back, so because of this terminology BOT came into picture that is Build Operate and Transfer. Basically in this the appropriate authority allots the contract to any company for a particular project. The BOT covers its cost for a particular period and transfer to the government. In very rare case the transfer happens. They build it operate it and operate it continuously. This has become the Lacuna of this system.

Inspite of being from the ruling party we have the courage to oppose this wrong policies.

There are already 10 toll nakas in Panvel which is the highest number of tolls in any taluka of Maharashtra state. And they are planning to introduce another one which is serious thing to raise your voice. Panvel is the opening gate of Navi Mumbai. Common man travels to Panvel to Kharghar many times. Students frequently travel from Panvel to Navi Mumbai for educational or recreational activities. For every traveling a student can’t shell 50 – 60 rs for toll. The same applies for common man. This is the issue which affects the pocket of a common man. It doesn’t benefit. First time we have found a movement against this issue and a battle has been fought.
Prashant Thakur has played a great role in this. Twice he met the CM of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan and he has given a positive nod to the issue. Now its the right time to start this movement because the work is already done and the contractor can’t stop the work midway. It is a grave concern.

How would you implement this?

Rigidity is not the solution. What i see as optimum solution is that a waiver can happen for MH 46 43 and 06. Even if we achieve this particular benchmark than its a huge remarkable achievement for us. It will b a great relief for people traveling from Panvel to Navi Mumbai and vice versa.

What exactly will you do to implement this?

It is almost done but it is a parallel association. The rule say if you are making a toll plaza then for regular commuters technically, a service road should be created. If they are very rigid in their approach then we will sleep on road. No power is larger than peaceful agitation of the people. Economical social and all the parameter are affected by the toll.

What do you think of other tolls which exists?

Basically the tolls which are built they are built in rural area and rural people don’t pay. Its a kind of extortion in legal terms. Other political parties have started following this what was started by Prashant Thakur. He is ready to become martyr for this movement

What message do you want to portray to people?

I would quote one statement ‘Out of the class of illiterates, the most hazardous illiterate is a politically illiterate individual.’ Political ignorance should be wiped off and people should be sensitive to social and economical issues. It is applicable for each and every segment of society. Anything that affects humanity should be taken into consideration.

For more details on Toll Naka click here