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The Union Road Ministry is mulling over a proposal to reduce national highway toll to only 40 per cent of the prevailing rate after a period of 30 years. If implemented, it will bring relief to commuters traveling on national highways.
The policy, if approved, will be applicable to only such highway stretches which are funded by the government. Presently there are a little over 100 public funded highway stretches across India which is under toll. It won't apply to highway stretches developed by private concessionaires under the built operate transfer (BOT) model.
The idea, according to Road Ministry officials is to provide relief to commuters from paying full toll in perpetuity. The government is considering including a provision in the existing toll rules that if the capital investment in building a public funded highway stretch is recovered or once it completes 30 years - whichever comes first - the toll would automatically be reduced to 40 per cent, said a senior road ministry official.
The official added that after 30 years, the capital investment on public funded roads would be deemed as recovered. In the last couple of years, there has been widespread public anger over having to shell out hefty toll on highways in perpetuity irrespective of the condition of the stretch.