AGRA: Your travel on tolled national highways is set to become costlier from April 1. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has revised its toll rates by 5 to 7%. As a result, prices of essential commodities are also likely to shoot up, transporters have said.
National Highway-2 project director Mohammad Safi told TOI, “NHAI has 372 toll plazas in the entire country. Revision of toll rates takes place before the start of every financial year. The rates are revised on basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and may vary from one toll plaza to another in the same region. Toll rates on NH-2 have been increased by around 5%.”

According to revised rates applicable from midnight of March 31, toll rates for all categories of vehicles will be increased by 5% on the majority of toll plazas. Rates for monthly passes (50 trips per month) have also been increased.

Small cars going from Agra to Delhi or vice versa via NH-2 will be charged Rs 10 extra toll tax from Sunday onwards. Similarly, commuters from Agra to Jaipur via NH-21 will have to pay around 6% more toll tax.

According to transporters, they have no option than increasing the rate of transportation, which will lead to increase in prices of essential commodities.

Virendra Gupta, president of Agra Transporters’ Welfare Association, said, “Increase in toll rates is highly unreasonable. Transporters were already facing problems dealing with the e-way bill and third party premium for vehicles transporting goods. Besides, diesel prices have increased. In such a situation, transportation cost will obviously increase, and due to this, prices of essential commodities will also shoot up.”

Gupta said they will also hold a protest against the government’s move.

 “We are in constant touch with senior leaders of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC). Transporters will hold a protest against increased toll rates in the larger public interest,” he added. AIMTC is an 81-year-old apex body of transporters, both cargo and passenger, representing 93 lakh truckers 50 lakh bus & tourist operators.
Charan Singh, president of Agra Public Carrier Association, said “NH-2 is in a poor condition as NHAI is not able to finish the ongoing six-laning project even after much delay. Other national highways in north India are no better. Even then, toll rates have been increased. The government must consider a rollback.”

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