Coronavirus Lockdown: NHAI Resumes Toll Collection on National Highways

Vehicles pass through a toll plaza in Gurgaon. (Image: Reuters)

Vehicles move by way of a toll plaza in Gurgaon. (Image: Reuters)

The determination comes amid opposition from AIMTC which mentioned that the toll assortment will adversely have an effect on the cash-starved small operators, who will be unable to pay it.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: April 20, 2020, 11:21 AM IST

Toll assortment on National Highways throughout the nation resumed on Monday according to authorities directives, a transfer which is being opposed by transporters. The central authorities on March 25, had introduced a short lived suspension of toll assortment following directives by the Ministry of Home Affairs within the wake of coronavirus pandemic. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), in addition to freeway builders, resumed assortment at toll plazas.

Highways developer IRB Infrastructure Developers mentioned all its Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) “have resumed their toll collection from 00.00 hours today” according to the NHAI directives

A spokesperson of IRB Infrastructure Developers mentioned, “we are pleased to have the directives from nodal agencies to resume toll operations. This seems to be a positive sign for the sector, with an indication leaning towards the restoration of normalcy in phased manners for the nation.”

IRB Infra’s initiatives SPVs collectively function 50 toll plazas throughout India and all have now totally resumed their operations from Monday. In line with NHAI pointers, all Project SPVs will likely be taking crucial precautions and care at toll plazas for freeway customers and staff manning the toll plazas. For this, the corporate has offered ample masks, sanitizers, hand gloves, and so forth. to staff manning the toll plazas.

However, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), protested in opposition to the resumption of toll on nationwide highways and mentioned it should adversely have an effect on rabi crop procurement, including that over 85 per cent transporters are cash-starved small operators who is not going to capable of maintain toll payment.

AIMTC, the apex physique for transporters that represents about 95 lakh truckers and transport entities, has sought suspension of toll until May 3.

“As per inputs received from across the country, procurement of rabi crop will be disturbed, as more than 85 per cent, finance-starved small operators can’t sustain toll burden starting April 20. Tolls must be suspended at least till May 3,” AIMTC President Kultaran Singh Atwal has mentioned in search of the Prime Minister’s Office’s intervention.

Atwal has mentioned that greater than 85 per cent of the transport fraternity have one to 5 automobiles and about 65 per cent of them are self-employed owner-drivers.

AIMTC Secretary General Naveen Gupta mentioned, “Only 15 per cent of the transporters own big fleets but they are also helpless… some have vehicles transporting essential goods while others are facing shortages of drivers.”

He mentioned the transport fraternity is financially damaged and doesn’t have finance for operations and bringing again drivers, which is a giant problem.

AIMTC has sought a aid bundle from the federal government that features Rs 15,000 per driver monthly apart from insurance coverage cowl to drivers and supporting employees.

Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) Coordinator S P Singh mentioned up to now 21 days, the good thing about toll payment not being levied was hardly being handed on within the type of any discount in truck leases throughout the nation.

On March, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had introduced: “In view of COVID-19, it has been ordered to temporarily suspend the collection of toll at all toll plazas across India.”

This is not going to solely cut back inconvenience to emergency providers but additionally save important time, he had mentioned.

The minister had additionally mentioned that upkeep of roads and availability of emergency sources at toll plazas will proceed as traditional.

Earlier, the highway transport and highways ministry suggested the NHAI to observe the house ministry’s pointers about toll plaza operations following the lockdown.

The prevailing situation could also be handled as ‘Force Majeure’ for concession or contract settlement by way of 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 automobiles getting into FASTag lanes with out the tag.

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