Around 60-65 Toll Plazas Affected Due To Farmer Agitation Resulting In Loss Of Rs 2,731 Crore In Toll Collection: Govt
The government on Wednesday (1 December) informed that around 60 to 65 National Highway toll plazas in Punjab, Haryanna and Rajasthan were affected due to Farmer Agitation, resulting in revenue loss of over Rs 2,732 crore.
"Farmers protest started affecting toll collection from October, 2020. Initially, the toll plazas in the State of Punjab were made non-operational by agitating farmers in October, 2020. It eventually spread to neighbouring States of entire Haryana and parts of Rajasthan," Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
Of the total revenue loss in toll collection, toll plazas in Punjab incurred a loss of Rs 1269.42 while those in Haryana and Rajasthan lost Rs 1319.61 crore and Rs 142.29 in revenues, respectively.
Gadkari said that the Road Transport Ministry and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have made continuous efforts to operationalise the affected toll plazas through active communication with state administration and help of toll collecting agency etc.
"State Governments of Punjab and Haryana had assured to render full cooperation for resumption of toll collection at the affected toll plaza in their respective states. However, toll operation could not be started," the minister said.
Further, NHAI invited bids for 14 non-operational fee plazas in Rajasthan based on assurance from local administration and two plazas were awarded on 3 September and 7 September, said Gadkari.
However, these plazas also could not be operated due to farmers’ protest, the minister added.
"In case the protest is called off by protesting farmer’s without prior information, NHAI, as an exigency plan, has directed its Regional Offices to mobilise skilled or semi-skilled manpower instantly and operationalise the fee plazas till agency is appointed to avoid any revenue loss," said Gadkari.
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