The NH Samara Samity, a combine of 32 organisations agitating against imposition of hefty toll on motorists using NH and other corridors/bridges, has sought a CBI probe into the allegations of corruption in fixing toll and steep hike in rates each year.
C.R. Neelakandan, the convenor of the samity, said in a press release the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) agreement with toll contractors was such that even State governments could do little to mitigate the financial burden imposed on motorists. This being the case, State government must take over the Mannuthy-Edappally stretch of NH 47 from NHAI. The agency had recently hiked toll rates for vehicles.
A private firm that widened Mannuthy-Angamaly stretch of NH 47 into four lane spent Rs. 312 crore. Over half the project cost has already been recovered even if one were to accept the firm’s claim that only Rs. 22 lakh was being collected daily as toll. The State government must take over the stretch, pay the balance amount and also a token compensation, said Mr. Neelakandan.