Government temporarily suspends toll collection on national highways due to coronavirus COVID-19

Union Roads and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday (March 25) announced that no toll will be collected at all toll plazas across India in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

Government temporarily suspends toll collection on national highways due to coronavirus COVID-19

Union Roads and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday (March 25) announced that no toll will be collected at all toll plazas across India in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

Gadkari tweeted saying that maintenance of roads and the availability of emergency resources will continue as usual at all toll plazas across the country. The Union Minister remarked that the move to suspend toll collection will help in reducing inconvenience to the supply of emergency services.

It may be recalled that Road Transport and Highways Ministry had advised the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to follow the guidelines issued by MHA about toll plaza operations after the announcement of 21-day lockdown.

Gadkari had said that the prevailing condition may be treated as "Force Majeure" of concession or contract agreement in terms of the Finance Ministry.

On Tuesday, an order was issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) providing details of the guidelines for the nationwide lockdown. In its order, the MHA had said that all offices of the government barring for those providing essential services will remain shut. Hospitals and all other medical facilities have been exempted from the lockdown. The exemptions include print and electronic media, shops selling essential items, e-delivery of food, medical equipment, banks, petrol pumps etc. 

All commercial establishments and private organizations will be closed and transport and hospitality services will remain suspended during the lockdown.