KOCHI: In a setback to the ongoing campaign on social media against paying toll for vehicles waiting in queue for more than three minutes at toll plaza, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has clarified there is no specific exemption applicable relating to either time taken or distance of queuing vehicles at plaza.
In the notification dated July 20, the NHAI stated: “As such, it is clarified that there is no provision on exemption to User Fee in case time taken for crossing the plaza is more than three minutes.” In Kerala, a strong campaign was on against the toll collection at Paliyekkara toll plaza on the Mannuthy-Edapally route, where people were forced to wait for several minutes in the queue.
The NHAI statement comes in the wake of similar campaigns at various places, including Paliyekkara. According to available statistics, the company, which was given the permission to collect toll till 2018 at Paliyekkara, has already recovered 65 per cent of the construction cost. The Mannuthy-Angamaly- Edappally stretch was constructed at an estimated cost of `721 crore and during the past five years, the contractors have already collected `454 crore as toll.
“The User Fee rates at a particular Plaza is based on the applicable NH Fee Rules notified by the government and the stipulations of concession agreement with respect to the particular fee plaza in case of BOT (Toll) projects,” the statement.