If you want to drive down a national highway, prepare to pay out a good sum of money each time.
The government has decided to charge toll tax on every new stretch of road it builds on national highways in future — either lengthening, broadening or improving them — if the cost of doing so is more than Rs 1 crore per km. The catch: any good quality road costs that much.
The only saving grace is that successive toll tax booths have to be at least 60 km apart.
The transport ministry is busy redrafting the National Highways (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules to bring about this change, which will be effective three years from now.
This rule had been made once before, in 1997. But public pressure saw the minimum cost for charging toll raised to Rs 3 crore per km, within which few projects then fell.