In a major relief to commuters, Chief Minister Raman Singh has decided to withdraw toll tax on more than 1,000 bridges built across Chhattisgarh under the state’s budget. “Singh today gave instructions to stop collection of toll tax on bridges constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD) from the state’s budget,” an official said here.
The CM was chairing a review meeting of the PWD department here at his official residence. The decision will benefit vehicles and heavy vehicles on over 1,000 bridges of state, where the annual toll collection is not more than Rs 5 lakh each, he said.
Notably, around 965 bridges have been constructed in Chhattisgarh in the last 13 years by the state’s PWD since the Raman Singh government came to power. In the first three years of the state formation (that is from the year 2000 to 2003) a total of 66 bridges were built, he added.
In the meeting, the CM approved PWD’s proposal to withdraw toll collection from these state-sanctioned bridges after the department officials informed that only Rs 11 crore is being recovered annually as toll tax from such bridges, the official said.
“The CM said in larger interest of public, such bridges should be made toll free,” he added. The officials said that in the year 2007-08, 32 bridges with toll recovery of less than Rs 5 lakh annually were made toll-free.
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The chief minister warned that negligence in quality of works would be not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against the guilty officials, he said. The CM said he had received complaints regarding quality of works done by the department at several places during his recently concluded Lok Suraaj Abhiyaan which will be probed further.
Meanwhile, he also stressed on timely completion and monitoring of construction works. PWD Minister Rajesh Moonat, Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand and other senior officials were present on the occasion.