Government says no plans to do away with toll collections on national...

    Government says no plans to do away with toll collections on national highways

    The government has no plans to do away with toll system on national highways and wants to ensure rational collection so that users pay charges for only the distance travelled, like in the case of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, a top official said.
    electronic toll

    Also to ensure smooth travel, the government is expediting electronic toll collection system.

    “As far as the Government of India or NHAI is concerned … It is not that we are going to do away with tolling system… Abolishing is not a solution. Road development programme has to go…the road user has to learn to pay and we have to bring in that discipline,” Road Transport and Highways Secretary Yudhvir Singh Mallik said here.

    Replying to a query in this regard here at a summit organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce, Mallik ruled out abolishing toll system saying the government will have to shell out Rs 1.2 lakh crore to the concessionaires by way of compensation for the toll.

    The secretary said the government is looking at making all greenfield highways, motorways and new roads in future as “access-controlled” so that the user has to pay for only the distance travelled on the road.

    He said efforts are on to expedite installation of electronic toll collection systems on all plazas so that even the movement of the exempt category vehicles is also recorded.

    “On national highways we have a total of 421 toll plazas. Another 50 toll plazas are on those national highways which are managed through the state PWDs which now I am proposing to transfer to the NHAI. Out of 421, close to 220 toll plazas are on those projects which are BOT (build-operate-transfer) toll projects. It was an effort to persuade all the PPP toll operators to provide (electronic toll collection) equipment to all their lanes with that infrastructure which helps,” the secretary said.

    The secretary also stressed the need for authentic detailed project reports (DPRs) by experts after visiting the spot instead of depending on google maps.

    “A good DPR is the very foundation of the project,” he said.