Toll on Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch slashed

October 11, 2013



JAIPUR: Bowing to public outcry on charging toll on under expansion highways, the Central government has slashed the toll rates on the Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of National Highway 8. The stretch, known for traffic bottlenecks and pothole-riddled roads, could see a nearly 25% reduction in existing toll rates.

The decision which was taken during the recently held cabinet meeting on Tuesday is yet to be circulated. Union minister for road transport and highways Oscar Fernandes however hinted at a cut in toll rates.

 ”I can’t comment on the matter as all cabinet decisions should be briefed by the spokespersons. But yes, something is done on the toll rates keeping public sentiment in mind,” said Fernandes.

Currently, commuters plying from Jaipur to Delhi pay Rs 55 at Shahpura and Rs 115 at a toll gate near Shajapur. Those travelling to and fro the same day are charged Rs 254.

The decision comes in the wake of protests from various sections of the society to suspend the toll collection on the stretch till the time the six-laning project is complete. A public interest litigation (PIL) has also been filed in the Supreme Court, which is pending before the court.

Supporting the public outburst over the deplorable condition of the road, governor Margaret Alva had shot a letter to the Union transport minister in early September. In her communication she justified the public demand to stop charging the toll until the road expansion project is complete. Later on the request of the governor, Fernandes had travelled by road from Delhi to Jaipur and taken stock of the situation.

Sources from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) claimed that they have proposed to cap the rates at 75% of the present toll during the widening of the highway from four to six lanes. “We recommended that the toll be reduced by one-fourth in case there are any delays in completion of the project. Revised toll rates on Jaipur-Gurgaon highway will become clear only when we receive any instruction from the ministry,” said senior official of NHAI.

The widening work on the stretch was started in April 2009 and will finish, at the earliest, by March 2014. Appalling condition of the Jaipur-Gurgaon highway has become a major issue with the opposition cornering the government over it ahead of upcoming elections.



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