The concession will be applicable on road toll booths on the Mumbai-Bengaluru, and the Mumbai-Goa highways and other state highways ahead of the 10-day festival starting from August 31, he said.
The decision came after Shinde chaired a meeting recently and directed the authorities concerned to provide the toll-tax exemption and other comforts during the festival.
For availing the discount, the vehicles would have to sport a sticker with ‘Ganeshotsav 2022, Konkan Darshan’, with the full details of the vehicle and its owner/s on it, as required by the Transport Department.
Every year, during Ganeshotsav, several lakhs of people from Mumbai, Pune and other major cities troop down to the coastal Konkan districts like Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg to celebrate the state’s biggest public festival.
They travel in private cars, SUVs, vans, mini-buses, private or State Transport buses which connect the remotest hilly or coastal villages dotting the Konkan districts, and multiple road toll taxes both ways (return journey) has always remained a major concern.
Mumbai taxi-driver Sushil Uke, who is busy plying on the Konkan route with daily trips, said the concession will reduce the travel costs to the region by a total (two-way trip) upto 20-25 per cent, depending on the route taken by the devotees.
“The past two years, Ganeshotsav in Konkan was a very dull affair owing to the coronavirus pandemic. This year since the restrictions have been lifted, the rush is huge with all modes of travel completely booked and some even trying to exploit the situation,” said Uke, zooming off to Ratnagiri.