Toll collection on National Highways across the country surpassed pre-COVID levels in the month of November, signaling sharp signs of recovery in road traffic. The toll collections have reached 114 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the month under review.
The Centre on March 25, had announced temporary suspension of toll collection in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as well as highway developers resumed collection at toll plazas in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs directives on April 20.
A senior government official told Economic Times that road traffic had recovered, adding that rise in toll collection will help them plan their project awarding activity better, besides providing a stable source of revenue for NHAI.
According to a ICRA report, NHAI is staring at a loss of around Rs 1,110 crore due to non-operation of toll plazas on account of localised re-imposition of lockdowns in several states and heavy monsoons in many parts of the country.
The government is leaning towards restoration of normalcy in phased manners. However, the movement in passenger vehicles is yet to recover fully.
The NHAI had rolled out FASTag-based electronic toll collection mechanism from December 15 over 500 toll plazas of the NHAI, while doubling toll charges from the vehicles entering FASTag lanes without the tag. The government has mandated the use of FASTags across at least 75 per cent lanes of toll plazas and has restricted use of cash mode of payment to a maximum of 25 per cent lanes of toll plazas.