In a move that will come as a big relief to commuters, the government has decided to scrap toll on all highway stretches where developers have recovered their investment, highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
“We cannot scrap the toll on highways that have been awarded on public private partnership model as that would be against the contractual agreement that the developer has entered into with the government … if you are using the services you will have to pay toll,” Gadkari told a press conference to mark the BJP-led NDA government’s 100 days in office. “But on stretches where the developer has recovered investment, we have decided to scrap toll.”
There are only a handful of projects where the developers are set to recover his investment.
He also reiterated his ministry’s target of building 30 km of highways per day within the next two years and clearing bottlenecks that have stalled 189 projects worth `1.5 lakh crore.
“We are resolving issues related to land acquisition and environment clearance that are holding up projects. So far, of the 54 projects stuck because of forest clearance, 33 have been cleared,” he said
Providing connectivity to Jammu and Kashmir and the far-flung areas of the Northeast is another priority area of the government.
“We have sanctioned projects worth Rs 28,000 crore in J&K. Besides, a 10,141-km stretch of road network will be built in the Northeast. This fiscal as against the target of 6,000 km, the ministry has already completed constructing 1,860 km,” the minister said.