Punjab: Protesting Farmers Prevent Toll Collection Since Dec 22, NHAI Facing Rs 1.3 Crore Loss Per Day Approaches High Court

Punjab: Protesting Farmers Prevent Toll Collection Since Dec 22, NHAI Facing Rs 1.3 Crore Loss Per Day Approaches High Court

by India Infrahub - Jan 11, 2023 12:55 PM +05:30 IST
Punjab: Protesting Farmers Prevent Toll Collection Since Dec 22, NHAI Facing Rs 1.3 Crore Loss Per Day Approaches High CourtFile photo of Punjab farmers protesting at Delhi border.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Tuesday (10 January) approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking the resumption of the operations of 13 toll plazas in Punjab.

Some farmers have staged protests and prevented toll collection at various toll plazas in Punjab since 15 December. They are demanding farm loan waiver, remunerative prices for crops and compensation for crop damage.

Due to this NHAI has been facing a daily loss of Rs 1.33 crore.

Thus the statutory body approached the high court for the resumption of operations of the toll plazas at the earliest.

The petition, which has been filed against the state of Punjab, the director general of police and the deputy commissioners of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Barnala, Pathankot, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur, among others, has submitted that 13 toll plazas in the state have been forcibly taken over by the protesters and the toll collection has stopped at 12 of those.

At Kot Karor in Ferozepur, the protesters have allegedly taken over the toll plaza and are illegally operating it, the petition says.

"The situation is so grave that there is no maintenance of law and order and the staff and the properties of the toll plazas have been vandalised as much as the toll plazas have been completely occupied by the protesters," it says.

The protesters have been preventing the toll collection, resulting in a significant loss of revenue to the government, the petitioner has submitted.

"It is estimated that the daily loss is around Rs 1.33 crore," the petition says.

A total loss of Rs 26.6 crore has been incurred by the NHAI till date, it says.

In the petition, the NHAI has prayed for directions to authorities to take active steps for the restoration of law and order and to facilitate and support it in the toll fee collection from the toll plazas in Punjab by providing security and administrative assistance.

It has also sought appropriate orders for the immediate resumption of toll collection at these toll plazas.

Toll plazas has become the primary target of protesting farmers in Punjab. Even during the farmer protests against the centre’s farm laws, NHAI suffered hundreds of crores in losses with prevention of toll collection at its plazas in the state.

In March 2021, Union Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has informed the parliament that NHAI suffered a toll revenue loss of Rs 814.4 crore due to farmer protests in three states.

During those protests, the loss to NHAI at Rs 487 crore was the highest in Punjab, followed by Rs 326 crore in Haryana and Rs 1.40 crore in Rajasthan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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