The recent spate of protests against collection of toll for use of roads and bridges has raised the pitch for evolving a transparent system and getting the present structure probed by CAG.

Independent bodies and commercial vehicle users have once again raised their voice warning that the government to heed to their request before the public protests in some states took a more virulent turn across the country.

Both the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) and All India Motor Transport Congress(AIMTC) have in their separate appeals to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) not to ignore public resentment.

They urged the government to take seriously the protests in Maharashtra, UP and Haryana as these were not isolated incidents and any failure on the part of the Centre and the state governments in reading the writing on the wall had the potential to spread to other parts of the country as the people in general were bearing the brunt of the unfair tolling system.

The two organisations maintained that the Centre instead of seeing it as a law and order problems and closing its eyes would only compound the problem and it would be in the interest of all that the present system was reviewed and transparency brought in.

The AIMTC said goods and commercial passenger vehicles accounted for 70 percent of users of the main roads across the country and were at the receiving end of the wilful tolling system. The AIMTC demanded that the present system should be probed by the CAG.

The transporters body alleged the toll charges were designed highly in favour of the private player, were arbitrary with concessions to them besides lapses and leakages that helped them while the public were made to suffer at their hands.

The IFTRT opposed the establishment of toll plazas right at the entry or exit point of cities causing traffic jams and wastage of time not to talk of the overcharging that the concessionaires indulge in while not providing the committed amenities to the commuters.

The estimated loss due to delays at the toll plazas has was regressive in nature, the AIMTC quoted a report prepared by II-Kolkata and TCI, and the wastage was estimated at Rs. 67,000 crore annually across the country.


Protesters ransack toll booth in CSI complexJanuary 9, 2014