Pay more at 21 toll plazas from Sept 1

Motorists passing through 21 toll plazas in the State, set up by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), will have to shell out more from September 1 as the NHAI has decided to effect the annual hike in user fee. The fee will go up by Rs five to Rs 15, a rise of 3-5%, depending on the category of vehicle for a single passage.
Pay more at 21 toll plazas from Sept 1

Chennai

The hike in toll charges has come at a time when the lorry owners have asked the Centre to suspend the collection of the user fees considering the impact of the lockdown on the transportation sector.
A senior NHAI official said it was a routine annual hike effected every year as per the rules. “The nominal hike is an automatic process carried out based on wholesale price index in accordance with the provisions of National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008,” he said.
The user fees at TN toll plazas would be revised in two batches – from April 1 and September 1 every year. Toll charges were revised in 26 plazas from April 1 while the user fees would go up in 21 plazas on September 1.
Tamil Nadu State Lorry Owners’ Association president S Yuvaraj said despite their appeal to the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways against hiking the toll charges, the NHAI is going ahead with the revision.
“This is not the time to hike the user fees,” he said, adding All India Motor Transport Congress has told the Centre that the national permit lorries would pay the user fees yearly once so that toll plazas could be done away with.
“There are 50 lakh national permit lorries in the country. If each lorry pays Rs 50,000 a year to the Centre as user fees it will come to Rs 25,000 crore revenue for the government. Moreover, other vehicles need not pay the user fees at all and it will save the waiting time at the toll plazas,” he said, adding for reasons unknown the Centre has not accepted the suggestion.
PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss hit out at the NHAI decision to hike the toll charges at the time of lockdown. “On the one hand, tolls are levied directly on the road in the name of tolls, while on the other tax is levied on petrol and diesel in the name of road construction. Apart from these, road tax is levied while purchasing vehicles. In what way is it fair to charge the public thrice to use a road?” he asked.
He said the hike would result in rise in prices of essential commodities as well.

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