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Old 26th April 2012, 14:17   #1
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Default PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

The news here
Toll on motorists for use of highways under HC scanner - The Times of India

The Jist of the PIL is that according to
National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules 2008, toll plazas cannot be
1. Inside Municipal limits
2. Less than 60kms length under a toll plaza

Jalandhar - Amritsar(80kms) will have 2 toll plazas
220kms chd-Asr highway will have 7 toll plazas.

Moreover, the PIL also claims that toll is not according to actual distance travelled as highway are not access controlled. So if somebody travels on a section without a plaza, they go away scot free, however, somebody travelling just 1km may have to pay 100rs toll for that 1km

Lets see how it goes.

I do not expect anything will be done about the access control, but about other things which violate rules, it needs to be fixed.
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Old 26th April 2012, 14:22   #2
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Lets see how it goes.
I do not expect anything will be done about the access control, but about other
things which violate rules, it needs to be fixed.
Even, I will be watching for this. Contractors are setting toll plaza anywhere, everywhere on highway. Bangalore - Tumkur roads have toll plazas few kms apart. They have put toll plaza en-route to BIAL Airport.

Main things is, where the option of freeway for commuters? I agree there would be toll road for faster cruising, there should be freeway along with it.
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Old 26th April 2012, 14:22   #3
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

This is a good thing, but the access control is also an issue that needs to be addressed. Any idea how this is handled in developed countries ?
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Old 26th April 2012, 14:27   #4
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

These so called Expressways are no more than Dual Carriageways in International Parlance. This type of road is not tolled anywhere afaik.
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Old 26th April 2012, 15:02   #5
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

I traveled on the the Chandigarh Jalandhar road via Kharar Nawanshahr and Banga, Delhi-Chandigarh and Ludhaina-Delhi roads recently. I was tired of stopping every hour or so and paying Toll.

The roads are not expressways by any means and just simple Dual carriageways with roadworks under progress. So at some places you actually go off onto a service road and get stuck in slow traffic which includes trucks, buses, cars, tractors, combined harvesters, motorcyles, autos, cycles, and rickshaws! Then you emerge onto a wide 6 lane road for 300 meters where you are stopped to pay a Toll Tax for the lovely roads that you just traveled through. It is ridiculous!

My two day 900 km round trip costed me Rs. 498 in tolls payed at ten different Toll Plaza's. That works out to Rs.0.55 per km!!

I mean we pay Road Tax when we buy the car dont we. I guess that is for the State Government so NHAI needs money from somewhere also. The centre gives them that does it not? ..from the money collected from Income Tax, Excise Tax, Very Special Tax on top of the Special tax that we pay ??

Though dont get me wrong i did not mind paying Rs.20/- (now 25/-) for the Panipat Elevated Corridor which used to be harrowing a little while ago. I would like to know though for how long am i supposed to pay this Toll? Indefinitely?

I am sure there is some scam brewing here also and the high and mighty are getting richer at our expense.

I wonder though if the PIL will get anywhere.
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Old 26th April 2012, 15:11   #6
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

recently we filed an RTI against a toll-bridge near us which was constructed about 20 years ago, and during the time-period the construction was completed BOT (Build Operate Transfer) terms given by government used to be around 10 years. So I concluded that it was way past it's original toll period and some officials/engineer from PWD department was coming once a week and collecting toll from the licensee and sharing proceeds between themselves. Once an RTI was filed it put a stop to it immidiately. The toll booth was packed up and now its free.
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Old 26th April 2012, 15:19   #7
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

The question still remains.
If I am paying taxes then why I need to pay tolls?
Are the taxes not meant for development of infrastructure?
Or the situation now is "Forget about taxes you paid. That got eaten up".
So now pay the toll to help us maintain these roads.

There is really an eye watering amount of corruption in India.
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Old 26th April 2012, 15:29   #8
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

@download2live; On the face of it the road tax we pay is pretty small. In the UK (no tolls) it is well over 100 pa.

On the other hand you are paying for the roads in every litre of fuel you buy _ Rs.2 per litre (or is it Re.1). I bet this money is vanishing into a Black Hole called the Consolidated Fund of India' and/or its state equivalent, for the netas and babus to squander, even though this levy was supposed to be specifically for for highway development only. I think the road tax is also for highway development only.
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Old 26th April 2012, 15:43   #9
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuuj View Post
I traveled on the the Chandigarh Jalandhar road via Kharar Nawanshahr and Banga, Delhi-Chandigarh and Ludhaina-Delhi roads recently. I was tired of stopping every hour or so and paying Toll.

My two day 900 km round trip costed me Rs. 498 in tolls payed at ten different Toll Plaza's. That works out to Rs.0.55 per km!!
Please travel between Hyderabad-Bangalore. Total toll would be Rs 438/ for 500 odd Kms
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Old 26th April 2012, 16:04   #10
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

I myself have thought countless times about approaching the Court through PIL on the Toll menace. The situation in Punjab is indeed grave.

A trip from Jalandhar to Amsitsar make you stop at two Toll barriers & the distance is only 80kms. Also the road is single at most places & divided for small distances. Not to forget, Amritsar is a holy City & in the Sikh ardaas carries a line "Gurudwarian de khule darshan didaar", means open access to Gurudwaras. The Akali Sarkar there is also in control of the body that controls Gurudwaras - SGPC. So in a way they should be doing much more to facilitate the pilgrims while they have created barriers in their way & charging heavily.

Trip from Jalandhar to Chandigarh is even worse, 4-5 toll plazas & distance is only 160kms. Makes the journey really costly & wait at toll plazas kills time.

Hope the PIL filed bears some good results & the daylight robbery is curtailed.
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Old 26th April 2012, 16:23   #11
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

I am not against toll being paid for the usage of roads but what about that despite tolls being paid, the service level on the road is abysmal. Take for instance the toll collected when you enter Bombay (Vashi bridge/ Thane-Bombay border and Airoli bridge). This toll is supposed to be used for maintenance of roads and construction of flyovers in Bombay. Anyone who has been to Bombay very well knows in what state of disrepair Bombay roads are. How do we deal with this? Can we sue the government? The government can jail us if we dont pay tax but can we jail the government if it doesnt provide service after we have paid the toll?

Here is the article that highlight the plight of Mumbai citizens who honestly pay toll and yet have to suffer from bad roads: 'Why should we pay toll?' - Times Of India
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Old 26th April 2012, 17:54   #12
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

Would be an issue all across India. If PPP model is going to give me a "replacement" over an "alternative" to my regular route, i don't want it! Look at how much the toll is on either the old NH4 between Pune-Mumbai or the new expressway. And for what? Roads that are killing fields where cows stray and heavy vehicles break every possible rule?
I hope there are more of such PILs getting filed.
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Old 26th April 2012, 17:55   #13
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

We pay road tax on a new vehicle purchase. Then we pay infrastructure cess which is included in the fuel price. Also, we pay income tax, excise, service tax and a zillion more kind of taxes then we have to pay for toll tax. Where is it all going? Why should we pay for the same thing under different names?

I'm sure a scam is brewing here. One more thing that comes to my mid is that the octroi was done away with in many parts of the country but we still pay octroi on petrol and diesel and also on electricity. Its just that we do not realise it because its already included in the selling price.

EDIT

One more thing I noticed recently while travelling on the chandigarh-ropar route that the toll barrier on the kurali ROB was packed up. I was happy to see the traffic flow smoothly as I was used to the long queues there. The toll is just Rs.11 but you burn more worth of petrol in those queues waiting your turn to pay the buggers.
A few days later, I happened to travel the same route and the toll barrier was up and running again.
Later, had a chat with a friend about the issue and got to know that the toll company had filed some sort of petition demanding an extension in the tenure and got a stay from the court. Now whatever be the decision, the travellers are paying toll. They wont get refunds if the toll company loses.

PS- There are 2 toll barriers on the 45km chandigarh-ropar route and they are just 10 KM apart.

Last edited by A M : 26th April 2012 at 18:06.
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Old 26th April 2012, 18:06   #14
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

I have the following on very good authority -

1) Many politicians have routed their hard(ly) earned money through various private limited firms into these tolled road projects. The money lying in the land of banks does not earn anything for them and these 20-30 yr projects are like an almost perpetual revenue stream and also helps them get their serious monetary assets into play.

2) This tolled roads was thought to be such a great idea that many such projects, when auctioned off, fetched amounts that were far greater than the authorities (who had their own viability studies) expected. In fact some projects where govt was anticipating Viability gap funding, they ended up getting premiums. So much about their ability/expertise to carry out the viability maths on such projects

3) One more problem that has come to fore with Tolled roads is that once the high and mighty invest and start the project then subsequent development is done keeping in mind their own interests rather than the interests of the nation at large.

An example would be -
a) No alternative highways will be shown the green light if they affect the revenue stream of the existing one, even 10 years down the line. Remember the projects are for 20-30 years.
b) High speed rails that may affect such projects may also get shot.

A normal person may keep on attributing the shoddy state of affairs on govt. lethargy without realizing that there is perfect crooked sanity in this madness..!!
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Old 26th April 2012, 18:13   #15
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Default Re: PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court

There is a definite toll scam going on in Punjab. All state roads in Punjab have a single toll collector M/S Rohan & Rajdeep, and I assume these guys are minting money by the second.

As others have mentioned some of the toll collected has no basis at all. For eg. Jalandhar - Amritsar road, till Beas, which is almost half the journey, its not even a double carriageway and that section is now littered with craters.
Then again on the Jalandhar - Chandigarh route, after Ropar, the road is a single way and the road is in atrocious condition with heavy traffic. Its almost begging to be made a double carriageway.
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