The toll policy for national highways, which will be revamped in the next three months will also focus on setting up toll plazas outside cities in order to avoid protests as well as to set a time frame to end tolling on highways which are less than four-lane.
Good news for those who travel by road! The toll policy for national highways is being revamped by the government in order to allow people to pay the toll or user fee only for the stretch they travel instead of the current practice of paying for the entire corridor between two existing toll plazas. According to a TOI report, the toll policy for national highways, which will be revamped in the next three months will also focus on setting up toll plazas outside cities in order to avoid protests as well as to set a time frame to end tolling on highways which are less than four-lane.
According to Highways Ministry sources, who were quoted in the report, the revamped toll policy will be dynamic. The toll policy will focus on pushing electronic mode of collecting user fee by setting up necessary facilities as well as by offering permanent discount in the toll fee that commuters pay using smart tag. Tolling experts believe that congestion at toll plazas would not end unless 70 percent to 80 percent of vehicles opt for paying the toll fee through electronic mode. The move by Highways Ministry is in line with this year’s Union Budget announcement. The newly launched Eastern Peripheral Expressway, as well as the Western Peripheral Expressway, which have been built around the national capital with limited entry points and exit points, have been introduced with these the closed tolling system as well.
A ministry official was quoted in the report saying that, while it would be easy to implement the new revamped policy in the case of new greenfield roads, it would be difficult to do so in the case of existing roads which have unlimited entry points and exit points and are not regulated. Presently, toll plazas are set up at a distance of 60 km and so even if a commuter travels only a distance of 20 km to 30 km, he or she has to pay the toll fee for the entire stretch. Officials also informed that the stated policy of not setting up a toll plaza within 10 km of municipal limit is also becoming a major contentious issue as municipal areas are growing, the report said.