MPs, MLAs exempted from paying toll on NHs

An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) Tuesday approved exempting MPs and MLAs from paying toll on national highways.

New Delhi: An empowered group of ministers
(EGoM) Tuesday approved exempting MPs and MLAs from paying toll on
national highways.

The EGoM also decided that toll on a two-lane highway can
levied only if an investment of Rs 2.5 crore per km has been
made on its upgrade, Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath said.
The current investment level for levying toll on a two-lane
highway is Rs 1 crore per km on its improvement.

The toll on a two-lane highway will be 60 per cent of
that on four-lane road.

On exemption to people`s representatives, the Road
Transport Ministry had recommended that these "categories
would be a catalyst in building up resistance to tolling.
Peaceful tolling is crucial to encouraging private sector
investment in road infrastructure."

"The withdrawal to this category is nearly revenue
neutral to the government as the government will have to meet
the expenditure of toll payable by the government vehicles,"
the ministry had said.

The ministry had also received complaints from the
public that the toll applicable on highways was high, besides
the high user fee for bypasses had deterred commuters from
using it resulting in crippled usage of infrastructure created
at a huge cost.

"The EGoM decided levy of toll on section of national
highways having two lanes and on which the average investment
for upgrade has exceeded Rs 2.5 crore per km, at rates 60 per
cent of the rates applicable for four laning projects," a Road
Transport Ministry official said.

The ministers’ panel also approved rationalization of
toll on bypasses across the country, which will be 1.5 times
of highways, the official said.

Considering the second set of recommendations submitted
by Planning Commission member BK Chaturvedi on national
highway development, the EGoM approved a bucket-based approach
to resolve disputes in the sector.

Bucket-based approach suggests dispute redressal
mechanism for three sizes -- disputes involving claims up to Rs
10 crore, between Rs 10 and 100 crore and those above Rs 100
crore. For cases where the amount involved is over Rs 100
crore, the authority may take legal recourse.


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