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National Highways

31 May, 2020, 12:27 PM IST



Toll collection resumes on National Highways

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as well as highway developers resumed collection at toll plazas. Highways developer IRB Infrastructure Developers said all its Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) "have resumed their toll collection from 00.00 hours today" in line with the NHAI directives.

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  • Besides construction activity, the home ministry has allowed commercial and private establishments to resume operations. Toll collection falls under this category. Interstate and intra-state movement of all trucks and other goods or carrier vehicles has also been allowed.

    Replying to a letter from NHAI, the ministry said the NHAI in letters dated April 11 and 14 has highlighted reasons for resuming the collection of user fee on national highways, saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed a lot of activities with effect from April 20, including commercial and private establishments and construction activities.

    The Rs 1 lakh crore flagship Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project being built on a new alignment will pass through backward and far-flung tribal areas of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and is scheduled to be completed within three years.

    As the ministry of home affairs (MHA) made way for lifting curbs on certain sectors to get economic activity restarted, construction activity is still crawling, though it has started across various districts.

    The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the apex body for transporters that represents about 95 lakh truckers and transport entities, sought suspension of toll till May 3.

    Under the Maharashtra state road improvement project, two major district roads and 11 state highways, with combined length of 450 km will be upgraded to two-lane standard across seven districts.

    Projects are most at risk in four of these states – Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh – that account for over a third of the projects.

    Latest data from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) shows that toll collected through FASTags, which now account for almost 70% of the transactions across the country, fell 50% on Sunday compared to last week. Toll collected via FASTags on Sunday stood at Rs 33.12 crore, a 48% dip as compared to the Sunday before. On an average, daily toll collection across National highways is Rs 85 crores.

    Bids for TOT-4, floated in FY20, were due on Wednesday, after four rounds of postponement. The bid submission date has now been deferred by a month, a senior official told ET.

    The government has envisaged an ambitious highway development programme -- Bharatmala Pariyojana --which includes development of about 65,000 km national highways. Under Phase-I of the programme, the government has approved implementation of 34,800 km of national highways projects with a very stiff target of 5 years with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore.

    Completion of the 150-km Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch of the chardham all-weather road project will be delayed by nearly six months due to the shortage of labourers amid the ongoing lockdown, an official said on Thursday.

    The problem was more pronounced in the final quarter of the year, as the government contracts came to an almost full standstill as it cut spending to maintain fiscal numbers under check, and the final week saw the entire nation coming to a halt due to the lockdown.

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