Greater prices by toll operators on state highways of Punjab pinch commuters
Rajmeet Singh & Vijay C Roy
Chandigarh, January 11
Already burdened with a heavy car registration tax, commuters plying on highways are feeling the pinch of prices at toll plazas.
Including to their woes, the toll on the state freeway is on the upper aspect when in comparison with the fees on the plazas on nationwide highways.
Pattern this: A commuter travelling by automobile from Chandigarh to Dasuya finally ends up paying Rs 531 for spherical journey (356 km) on the state freeway. Then again, a spherical journey from Chandigarh to Amritsar (460 km) prices round Rs 500 to a commuter. Additionally, a spherical journey to Delhi from Chandigarh, prices round Rs 550 for a distance of 490 km. Travelling two method (216 km) on the Balachaur- Garhshankar- Hoshiarpur- Dasuya part of the state toll highway prices Rs 273.
In keeping with the state toll plaza coverage, the minimal distance between two limitations needs to be 20 km, whereas it’s 60 km in case of toll limitations on the nationwide highways.
In Punjab, there are 49 toll plazas on nationwide and state highways and the day by day incomes on a mean is round Rs 4.30 crore. Of the full, the NHAI has 32 toll plazas and earns round Rs 3.50 crore day by day. Presently, 13 toll plazas on the nationwide freeway have been shut by farm unions. Whereas 17 state plazas earn round Rs 80 lakh on common.
“The state authorities is already amassing highway taxes on the acquisition of recent autos, the Central Street Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) on gasoline and toll. Now we have been demanding the elimination of toll plazas, as an alternative toll charges have been growing yearly,” mentioned Mandeep Singh of Malout.
Commuters lament that though the federal government collects toll, it doesn’t perform periodic upkeep.
Navdeep Asija, Visitors Adviser to the state authorities, mentioned the state tolls plazas had been missing on many fronts.
“Towards the big infrastructure tasks of the NH that envisage highway widening, the state toll encompasses highway widening and sustaining the identical. Nonetheless, the state toll charge is increased in comparison with the NH toll plazas. On a number of the toll roads, it’s the accountability of the toll operator to make sure security of the commuter,” he mentioned.
Sangrur-based activist Harpreet Singh mentioned by bringing down plenty of autos passing by a selected highway, the revenue projections had been manipulated. The PWD lacked strong regulatory mechanism. Some have urged the abolition of toll on nationwide highways. “The toll income is round 10-15 per cent of the full NHAI finances. We’re of the view that as an alternative of toll, the federal government ought to enhance the cess on gasoline. This is not going to burden the shoppers,” mentioned an official in NHAI.
The budgetary allocation to the NHAI for the fiscal 12 months stands at Rs 1,34,015 crore. A majority of the ministry’s expenditure is managed by transfers from the CRIF which is levied on gasoline.
No extension to Lachowal plaza
- Saying the closure of the Lachowal toll plaza on the Hoshiarpur-Tanda highway in December final 12 months, CM Bhagwant Mann had refused to grant an extension to it as demanded by the working firm.
- He was quoted as saying that the toll operator had collected greater than Rs 7 cr yearly for 15 years within the title of upkeep
- The 27.9-km highway was constructed by the federal government at a value of Rs 7.76 crore and handed over to the corporate for upkeep in March 2007, but it surely failed to stick to norms of the settlement.
Two plazas shut
- Whereas three toll plazas on two state highways – Ludhiana-Malerkotla-Sangrur and Hoshiapur-Tanda — have been closed on the expiry of their time period. The Patiala-Samana-Patran plaza (time period ended on October 2022) has been given extension until February 2024.
Chd-Dasuya journey prices Rs 531
- A commuter travelling by automobile from Chandigarh to Dasuya finally ends up paying Rs 531 for spherical journey (356 km) on the state freeway. Then again, a spherical journey to Delhi from Chandigarh, prices round Rs 550 for a distance of 490 km.