Toll collection on National Highways across the country resumed on Monday in line with government directives, a move which is being opposed by transporters. The central government on March 25, had announced temporary suspension of toll collection following directives by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
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.
A spokesperson of IRB Infrastructure Developers said, "we are pleased to have the directives from nodal agencies to resume toll operations. This seems to be a positive sign for the sector, with an indication leaning towards restoration of normalcy in phased manners for the nation." IRB Infra's projects SPVs collectively operate 50 toll plazas across India and all have now fully resumed their operations from Monday.
In line with NHAI guidelines, all Project SPVs will be taking necessary precautions and care at toll plazas for highway users and employees manning the toll plazas. For this, the company has provided adequate masks, sanitizers, hand gloves, etc. to employees manning the toll plazas.
However, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), protested against resumption of toll on national highways and said it will adversely affect rabi crop procurement, adding that over 85 per cent transporters are cash-starved small operators who will not able to sustain toll fee.
AIMTC, the apex body for transporters that represents about 95 lakh truckers and transport entities, has sought suspension of toll till May 3.