Conceding to the long-pending demand of the motorists to reduce high toll charges at toll plazas on national highways passing through the state, the Haryana cabinet on Saturday approved a policy to provide relief to the commuters of the state.
Interacting with the media after the cabinet meeting, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said since the government of India (GoI) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) refused to provide any relief on their own, the state had finalised its own policy to provide relief to commuters of the state.
It may be recalled that there had been agitations by the motorists in different parts of the state against the high toll charges.
He said 50% subsidy would be given for monthly passes for four tolls under the 2008 toll policy, in Panipat, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Rewari districts for light commercial vehicle (LCVs) equivalent to TATA 407, including Maxi Cabs or Jeeps with seven seats, buses and JCBs whether registered in Haryana or not owned by residents within a radial distance of 30 km from each toll plaza, for the relevant single toll plaza only.
The policy would also provide rebate on monthly passes to the extent of 75% of all car and Jeep owners whether registered within Haryana or not residing in a radial distance of 35 km of any of the four toll plazas at Makrauli Kalan, Dahar, Gangaycha Jat and Dighal. In addition, the monthly pass holder for one toll plaza would be allowed to cross any of the other three aforementioned toll plazas, by paying a toll of ? 10 for each crossing.
For the toll plaza at Palwal, the facility would be available for the car and Jeep owners residing within a radial distance of 20 km of the toll plaza by way of subsidising monthly pass charges to the extent of 75%, he said.
This assistance from the state government would be applicable for one year in the first place and the policy would be reviewed for its continuation based on its implementation and the steps taken by the GoI and NHAI on the issue.
CONCESSIONAIRES TO BE COMPENSATED
To a question on the loss thus caused, Hooda said the state government would bear it as its representatives had also informed the concessionaires, NHAI and MORT&H that the state government stood by the state-support-agreement and would compensate the concessionaires for the loss that they were likely to incur following the concessions. This assurance was necessary since the concession agreements had been signed between the NHAI, an entity of the union government, and the concessionaires.
Hooda said that had the GoI (MORT&H) or the NHAI provided succour to the commuters by lowering the toll charges, thereby pre-empting the protests, the Haryana government would not need to intervene at all in the matter.
The concessionaires were also assured that this policy or concession should not deter them at all from participating in future bids or tenders in any of the projects in Haryana or in the rest of India, since they would be suitably compensated for any loss incurred by them.