Apex transporters’ body demands transparent toll policy
Apex transporters’ body AIMTC today demanded that road contracts on build, operate and transfer structure be brought under the purview of CAG
New Delhi: Terming the toll policy of the government ‘non-transparent’, apex transporters’ body AIMTC today demanded that road contracts on build, operate and transfer structure be brought under the purview of CAG.
Pitching for replacing the present system with a transparent one, the industry body in a statement asked that appropriate steps be initiated for bringing the road contracts on BOT basis under “CAG scanner and the lapses, leakages and unmindful concessions to the private players be curbed in the interest of people of the country.
“AIMTC has been raising voice against the unjust, non-transparent and unreasonable toll policy of the government, which is designed highly in favor of private builders and is a scam much bigger than 2G Spectrum,” All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said.
In the wake of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena vandalizing toll booths across the state, AIMTC said: “Though we do not subscribe to tactics of vandalisation, we are for protests and campaigns against the present toll policy and will continue to take it up in a very systematic fashion.”
The transporters’ body said the recent agitations in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Kherki-Dhula in Haryana and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh are not the isolated incidents but a result of latent resentment against curtailing of the fundamental rights of people to free movement.
The spurt of public protest is the indication of brewing public anger against tolls, AIMTC added.
It said providing a good road is the government’s responsibility yet the government has failed to discharge its responsibility despite collecting various road taxes.
“We have been continually highlighting misappropriations and flaws on the toll roads at the ground level but our voice is not heard. The road transport fraternity is very much peeved at the current state of affairs as more than 70 per cent of the highway traffic constitutes of goods and passenger commercial vehicles,” said AIMTC President Bal Malkit Singh.
Singh claimed that toll plazas and the present mode of collections are “regressive” in nature as indicated in a study conducted by TCI and IIM-Kolkata, which estimated about Rs 87,000 crore was wasted at various toll plazas and check-post on account of delay, fuel wastage and high inventory cost.
It suggested that a system be introduced where the road transport fraternity is allowed to pay annual toll in advance on the lines of National Permit Scheme, which in turn will curtail fuel wastage, delay, revenue leakage and administrative expense.