NHAI instructs officials to properly maintain highways, failing which toll would be halved

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in a stern warning to its officials, has instructed them to ensure proper maintenance of toll roads across the country, failing which the toll charges levied would be halved.

This comes in the backdrop of a Madras High Court ruling which asked the NHAI to reduce its toll by 50% on the Madurai-Virudhunagar highway due to poor maintenance. The Madurai bench in its interim order stated that 100% toll can only be charged at the Kappalur toll plaza after the stretch is repaired and a report regarding the same is submitted to the court.

As per the Union road transport and highways secretary – Yudhvir Singh Malik, he has asked the NHAI to not challenge the High Court order, and take it in the right spirit. Further he claimed that they are proposing to establish a protocol to assess maintenance of roads, which will bring in accountability.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

This order issued as a result, has asked for a preventive maintenance of roads to avoid incurring a reduction in toll charge.

As per an official, this effort of the NHAI strives to drive home the point with concessionaires and highway operators that, toll is paid by the people for good service, who then have the right to relief, owing to service deficiency.

Even though various stretches of Indian road network boast of a four lane highway network, many of them over the years have been marred by bad maintenance, even though commuters continued to pay premium toll charges.

The condition has been so pitiful in the sense that the Bihar government had slammed the NHAI in 2015 for a poor maintenance of its 2,560 KM roads in the state. The Bihar government also claimed that the NHAI had decided to allocate a mere Rs 68 crores for the maintenance and repair of National Highways in the state.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had come up with a landmark judgement in this regard by observing that, the NHAI and concessionaires cannot collect toll from commuters if the road was in a bad shape. The bench of Justice T S Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph while hearing the case about a poorly maintained 26 KM stretch on Raipur – Durg stretch of NH-53, observed that the public cannot be made to suffer both bad roads and heft toll. It thus ordered the refund of Rs 11 crore in collected toll to the Central government, which had taken over the road from a private contractor.

Incidentally the troubles of the commuters aren’t limited to the bad condition of roads and also extend to toll operators.

As per a 2013 report, Delhi was at the third place when it came to the list of complaints against the toll users. One of the main culprits being the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, which accounted for the majority of complaints. The complaints included overcrowding and a lack of proper infrastructure.

Incidentally, going by a DNA report, there are also checks and balances in this regard which are, being able to refuse toll payment, if you are stranded at a NHAI toll plaza for more than three minutes. Besides this you can also refuse toll payment if there are six vehicles or more ahead of you.

This issue though might be eliminated in the near future via a proper implementation of the FASTag technology. In this technology a device operating on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is fixed on the windscreens of a vehicle. Using this toll payments are automatically deducted from an account linked to it, while one passes through a toll plaza.

Such a fixture of FASTag has been made mandatory for all new four-wheelers post December 1st.

Contributor at OpIndia.com,
Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Activist opposing Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract thinks ‘Brahmins obstruct India’s development’

The Akshaya Patra has come under criticism recently for not including onion and garlic in its mid-day meals for school children.

Mumbai Police teaches a lesson in humility to ‘special’ Sonam Kapoor

Actor Dulquer Salman clarified that he and Sonam were sitting inside a car that was rigged to a truck and hence were not breaking traffic rules.

Here is what connects attack on Akshaya Patra, French NGO against Rafale and demonization of Amarnath Yatra

The web of foreign-funded NGOs that demonised the Amarnath Yatra, French NGO that complained against Rafale in France and the demand to remove Akshaya Patra from midday meals contract

Rafale: SC examined the pricing details closely, ‘did not rely’ on CAG report as claimed by Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale was based only on the CAG report, while it is not true

Uttar Pradesh: Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Bahraich with arms and ammunition

The smugglers even tried to trample the police personnel with their vehicle.

Double whammy for Congress in court: After Rafale verdict, Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as special director gets SC approval

The Supreme Court's verdict is being seen as the second major embarrassment for both the Congress party and Prashant Bhushan, as the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a plea on the issue of a probe concerning the Rafale deal.

Zee News issues defamation notice of Rs 1000 crore to Congress leader Navjot Singh Singh

Sidhu had allegedly threatened the Zee News when he had said “nani yaad dila denge” after Zee News had shown a video ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised at an election rally

All you need to know about Congress’ Chhattisgarh CM elect: Out-on-bail Bhupesh Baghel

Congress leader and Chhattisgarh CM elect Bhupesh Baghel is currently out on bail in sleaze video case

Church of South India Archbishop Dyvasirvadam arrested in church fund scam, reports Times of India

According to the report, archbishop Dyvasirvadam was allegedly involved in misappropriation of church fund for over a decade

Congress friendly journalist wishes death upon BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga

During the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections last year, Trivedi was caught spreading morphed images with Amit Shah's fake quotes on Patidars

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,699FansLike
98,067FollowersFollow
6,249SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these