Now pay toll to enter Goa!

Panaji, April 15 (IANS) Entering Goa just got even more expensive. Visitors driving to Goa by road, on anything other than a two-wheeler, will be charged toll upwards of Rs.100, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said at a press conference Monday.

“Five toll booths have already been erected at five entry points. One more entry point will be erected soon,” Parrikar said.

With revenue streams drying up due to the closure of the mining industry in October last year, the Goa government has been forced to come up with innovative means to up the monies in the state’s coffers.

The toll booths are aimed at scooping revenue from the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the state annually.

Parrikar said that three-wheelers entering Goa would be charged Rs.100, tempos Rs.500, four-wheelers Rs.250, and heavy vehicles Rs.1,000.

“Those staying in areas near the border and regularly travelling between states will be exempted from paying the toll. Vehicles who are using Goa’s roads only as a means of transit will be charged toll, which will be refunded as they exit the state,” the chief minister said.

Asked about the negative reactions from residents of Karnataka and Goa and businessmen from those states over the issue of toll, Parrikar said that the two states should stop charging toll on its highways and only then will Goa consider dropping toll charge.

“They can save a lot more than the toll on cheap petrol and diesel prices. Diesel is cheaper by Rs.1.75 considering the existing rate in Karnataka and Rs.3 lesser than the price in Maharashtra,” Parrikar said.

The price of petrol is already the lowest in the country after the Manohar Parrikar-led government slashed VAT (value added tax) to 0.1 per cent following the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the March 2012 polls.

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