Activists ask Govt to accept Truckers' offer to pay entire toll collection in advance, remove toll plazas
Moneylife Digital Team 19 December 2016
A group of activists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Mumbai and Pune have come together to support the demand from All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) to change the mode of toll collection and provide them with Annual Toll Permit (ATP) with upfront payment. 
 
The AIMTC, whose representatives met the activists Monday morning, said, they had met several senior ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and expressed their willingness to  compensate the government for the entire toll collection at toll plazas of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) across the country on upfront basis. They had made this offer in order to reduce the huge losses suffered by transporters because of delays at each toll collection centre. The AIMTC is on record to say that this will allow the government not to collect toll from private cars and other vehicles.
 
This proposal fully supports the drive towards a digital and cashless economy initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It gives the government time to put in place effective Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) facilities, as per the report of the apex committee on ETC, 2008. 
 
 
The present process of collecting toll is not transparent and prone to corruption and malpractices by toll collectors and concessionaires. Based on a study done by the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata in 2016, frequent stoppages at toll barriers result in a loss of man-hours and fuel worth a whopping Rs1.45 lakh crore per year. As against this, the toll revenue collected by the government in 2014-15 was a mere Rs14,717 crore (this information has been obtained under the Right to Information act and from the NHAI/Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) website). 
 
Reports by the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) and the Principal Accountant General have repeatedly pointed to the mismanagement of crores of rupees in administration and collection of tolls.
 
The activists were disturbed to learn from Raman Khosla of the Maharashtra Rajya Truck Tempo Tanker Bus Vahatuk Mahasangh about a new report from Mumbai quoting experts, who studied vehicle movement on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and Mumbai–Pune Expressway, which states that there was a saving of Rs3 crore worth of fuel in the 10 day toll waiver from 9th November to 18 November 2016. 
 
The group of activists include Sanjay Shirodkar, Vivek Velankar, Shriniwas Ghanekar, Anil Galgali, Pravin Wategaonkar, Sucheta Dalal, Mahesh Jadhav, Ashok Datar, Ashok Ravat, AV Shenoy, and Jagdeep Desai among others.
 
“Considering all the above mentioned points, we strongly demand that the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Minister of Road Transport and NITI Aayog should accept the AIMTC’s offer. It will help mitigate the hardship caused to people and businesses after demonetisation and reduce the loss to the economy in terms of manpower and fuel,” the activists said.
 

 

Comments
veereshmalik
12 months ago
This point has been revived with the Farmer's Agitation, albeit in a different way, though the ends justify the means.
Roy Aranha
5 years ago
gradual shift in certain areas of finance for digital not completely absolutely fool tardy brainleess govt
Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag
5 years ago
Before asking the Government to pay consolidated toll tax to the truckers, first find out, whether such toll is still necessary to collect. Whether collected toll properly reaches the Government treasury. What was the cost of construction of highway & bridges and whether Government has recovered the cost and some immediate future maintenance of the path.
P T Mathew
5 years ago
An idea worth serious consideration. A Hon. MP can introduce a private members bill to fulfill this goal if the Govt. is not accepting this proposal.
Radhakrishnan Machat
5 years ago
A great idea.
Ganesh Johnson
5 years ago
But will Virendra Mhaiskar of IRB allow this? He is known to ruthlessly kill activists who stand in his way (he killed Satish Shetty from Talegaon in 2010). IRB is definitely paying off most of the politicians of NCP to run the lucrative Mumbai / Pune toll contracts. I certainly hope that the government accepts this recommendation and scraps the toll booths in the Mumbai / Pune region. It will break the back of Mhaiskar.
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