Following an order by the Madras High Court to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to reduce toll rates by half on the Madurai-Virudhunagar national highway due to poort maintenance, the NHAI has asked its officials to ensure that concessionaires maintain highways, lest they too see toll rates reduced, reports The Times of India.
We respect the court order and take it in the right spirit. I have asked NHAI not to challenge the order. We propose to put a protocol for assessing maintenance of roads every year. This will bring accountability. The NHAI is issuing an administrative order.Union Highways and Road Transport secretary Yudhvir Singh Malik
Officials of the NHAI have confirmed that an order instructing officials at various levels has been issued to ensure “preventive maintenance”.
Earlier in 2015, the NHAI had rolled back an increase in toll rates along the Delhi-Jaipur stretch of National Highway (NH) 48 after it was reported that the road was pothole-ridden. The Supreme Court had observed that toll should not be charged if the road was not in good condition.
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that the toll can only be increased back to the original rates at the Kappalur Toll Plaza on the Madurai-Virudhunagar stretch of NH 44 after the road is repaired and a report is submitted to the court.
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