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Amid Opposition from Transport Fraternity, NHAI to Resume Toll Collection from April 20

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Picture for representation only.

Picture for illustration solely.

The authorities had on March 25 introduced quickly suspending toll assortment on nationwide highways to ease emergency providers in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: April 18, 2020, 1:33 PM IST

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will resume toll assortment on nationwide highways from April 20, as per a authorities communication, a transfer which is being opposed by the transport fraternity.

The authorities had on March 25 introduced quickly suspending toll assortment on nationwide highways to ease emergency providers in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

“In view of the relaxations provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the interstate and intrastate movement of all trucks and other goods/carrier vehicles …NHAI should take actions necessary for compliance of the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs … and tolling operations be resumed w.e.f. 20th of April 2020,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways mentioned in a letter to NHAI.

Replying to communication from NHAI, the ministry mentioned the authority in letters dated April 11 and April 14 had highlighted causes for resuming the gathering of person charge on nationwide highways, saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed plenty of actions with impact from April 20, together with industrial and personal institutions and development work.

“It has been further highlighted that user fee collection contributes to the government exchequer and also provides financial strength to NHAI in terms of budgetary support,” the letter talked about. However, transporters’ apex physique All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has opposed the transfer.

“This is appallingly preposterous. On one hand, the Government want the continuity of essential supplies and which our fraternity is doing against all odds and at even loss, in service of the nation,” it mentioned. AIMTC represents about 95 lakh truckers and transport entities.

Its President Kultaran Singh Atwal mentioned: “The entire transport fraternity is financially broke and does not have finance for operations and bringing back drivers either, which is another big challenge. Yet the government instead of extending this sector a helping hand by giving a bare minimum rescue package, submitted by AIMTC, it is burdening it with toll charges that account for 20 per cent of the operating costs.”

Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) Coordinator SP Singh prior to now 21 days the advantage of toll charge not being levied was hardly being handed on in type of any discount in truck leases throughout the nation.

“In view of COVID-19, it has been ordered to temporarily suspend the collection of toll at all toll plazas across India,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has introduced on March 25. This is not going to solely cut back inconvenience to emergency providers but additionally save essential time, he has mentioned.

The minister has mentioned upkeep of roads and availability of emergency assets at toll plazas will proceed as ordinary. Earlier, the street transport and highways ministry had suggested the NHAI to observe the house ministry’s tips about toll plaza operations following the lockdown.

The prevailing situation could also be handled as “Force Majeure” of concession or contract settlement when it comes to the finance ministry, it had mentioned. The NHAI had rolled out the digital toll assortment programme throughout India in December on its over 500 toll plazas whereas doubling toll expenses from the autos getting into FASTag lanes with out the tag.

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