The old Zuari Bridge will be soon replaced with the New Bridge. The bridge project along with the approach roads is already on the planning table. But with all the development there is also the provision for making some revenue for the state and based on that revenue model, you may have to pay the toll fees to cross the bridge in south Goa, which is not the regular affair in the state of Goa. In Goa, people do not like to pay the toll fees and hence there are no toll stations across the state, even on the borders of Goa the vehicle registered with Goa gets the exemption from the toll charges. Will Goan go to pay the toll on Zuari Bridge still remains the suspense?
Based the news published in the national daily The Times of India, The upcoming new Zuari bridge project along with its approach roads is ready, it is likely that commuters will have to pay the toll to use this new infrastructure. A toll plaza is part of the project from the conceptualisation stage and the land being acquired for the project also includes land for it.
The purpose of the collection of the toll fees is to recover the cost involved in the construction of this bridge which will be borne by the center at the moment, said the sources. “Along with land for rehabilitation of the families that will be displaced by the new Zuari bridge construction, the land is also being acquired for the toll plaza. As the central government will fund construction of the bridge, it is likely to collect user fee for use of the bridge,” said a source.
Although the decision of the collection of the toll is taken by the local government but the final call on this will be taken by the center, said the sources. “It will be purely at the discretion of the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) to decide on collection of the toll.” the sources close to project committee said.
According to the sources, the central government is spending around Rs 1,403.1 crore in all for the construction of the new Zuari bridge. This amount excludes the cost of land acquisition. The cable-stayed bridge and its approach roads are being constructed in three phases. The package I include the construction of the approaches on the northern end of the bridge at a cost of Rs 440.10 crore. It also includes construction of the toll plaza as part of the contract. Package II will have the construction of the actual cable-stayed bridge along with the approach stretches connecting the bridge to the approach roads. The package III will be the construction of the south approaches to the bridge at a cost of Rs 417.60.
The sources further said that there is a possibility of an exception or concussion on the toll payment for the Goans and the same is under consideration. The new Zuari bridge is coming up on NH-17/NH 66 on Panaji-Mangalore section. Once the new bridge is constructed, the present bridge across River Zuari is likely to be utilized for movement of light vehicles. Movement of heavy vehicles on the existing bridge has been prohibited since the 1990s in view of its condition. The present bridge is two-laned, while the new bridge will have eight lanes keeping in mind the projection of traffic growth in the coming years.