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62 toll booths shut down: Gadkari

Government has shut down 62 toll booths on roads and highways and is proposing to do away with toll charges on roads built at less than Rs 100 crore, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.



New Delhi: Government has shut down 62 toll booths on roads and highways and is proposing to do away with toll charges on roads built at less than Rs 100 crore, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

"A toll policy is under consideration. The department is thinking of ways to provide relief to maximum number of people. We will also take the proposal to the Cabinet for approval," he said in Rajya Sabha while replying to supplementary questions.

The Minister further said government has already done away with 62 toll booths in different parts of the country "and we are also thinking of cancelling toll on roads built under the PPP model where the cost of project is less than Rs 100 crore".

However, there was no proposal under consideration to put an end to toll taxes, the Minister said.

He further said out of the 390 toll booths, 180 have become e-toll, a move that would help in reducing transit time at the booths.

Gadkari said the Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, which determine toll-related issues, have been formulated keeping in mind the requirements of National Highway development, their maintenance as well as to fulfil the aspirations of land users.

Replying to a question, Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti said the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986 Act does not empower the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or any other authority to impose any financial penalty as per the concept of 'Polluters Pay Principle' on industrial units found discharging effluent, not conforming to the standards and seriously violating the discharge norms.

"Remedial steps in this regard are under consideration of the government," the Minister said.

Strict penal action is needed to be put in place to deal with those, including industrial units who pollute rivers, Bharti said, adding the government was committed to making the river Ganga pollution free.

 

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