For want of small change, commuters will not be held up on highway toll plazas.
In a move to offer hassle-free travel, the Union road transport and highways ministry has approved a provision to round off toll fee to the nearest multiple of five at plazas set up before 2008.
That means, for instance, the round-trip toll for cars on the Lucknow-Sitapur highway stretch could either become Rs 55 or Rs 60, which will take care of the small change required to pay the existing fee of Rs 57.
Similarly, on the Agra-Bharatpur stretch, the round-trip fare is Rs 67. It could become either Rs 65 or Rs 70.
There are 45 such toll plazas without the provision of rounding off the fee.
Initially it will be implemented in 26 highway plazas and then expanded.
“All these highways are PPP (public private partnership) projects where developers had entered into an agreement with the NHAI. As of now, developers of 26 such projects have agreed to round off the fee to the nearest five,” a senior ministry official said.
The move is viewed as an attempt to cut down queues at toll gates, where lack of small change often holds up commuters and plaza managers — sometimes leading to quarrels as well.
At times, unable to find change, many operators end up giving candies in return.
“Finding change becomes a big hassle for commuters and this adds to the delay. It will not only help commuters but also concessionaires by making the entire toll collection process faster,” NHAI chairperson Raghav Chandra said.
The round-off provision is available on stretches that came up after 2008. “It was not there in the earlier agreements,” an NHAI official said.