LUCKNOW: The devotees thronging Prayagaraj for 2019 Kumbh will be given toll-free entry. The state government, on Thursday, asked the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to direct toll plazas falling under 50-km periphery of the mela site to give toll free passage to Mela bound vehicles for three months between December 15 and March 15. 2019 Kumb mela, expecting huge congregation of saints, seers and devotees, will commence with Makar Sankranti on January 14 and end with Mahashivratri Snan on March 4, 2019.
As per the sources, the state government had written to the union surface transport ministry and NHAI which had to take the call in this regard. The sources added that the state authorities had already got approval from the Centre for the same following which the mela bound vehicles would be exempted from toll tax on highways (Prayagraj bypass) and bridges (Naini bridge) around 50 km of mela site. The highways connecting neighbouring Madhya Pradesh will also be exempted. As a result, those coming from Madhya Pradesh will also be exempted from paying toll tax.
However, as per the agreement, the state government is believed to have assured the NHAI that it would pay off the amount incurred as revenue loss to the Authority during the period of relaxation.
The state government had initiated efforts in this direction soon after the demand raised by seers of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad in June.
Moreover, CM Yogi Adityanath reviewed the progress of under construction NHAI projects and asked the officials concerned to complete all projects in an around Prayagraj in a time-bound manner