The Congress government is firm on collecting toll on 10 State highways and a decision on this will be taken in the pre-budget meeting on Wednesday.

The previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had deferred the decision on imposing toll on the 1,191 km of State highways.

Speaking to presspersons on Tuesday, Public Works Minister H.C. Mahadevappa asserted that collection of toll would help in maintaining and improving the roads.

Though the Cabinet cleared amendments to the Karnataka State Highways Act-1964 providing the State government with the necessary sanction to collect toll, the decision was deferred because some Ministers objected to the proposal in view of Assembly elections.

“The quantum of toll to be collected will be worked out on the basis of number of vehicles that pass through them,” he said.

Dr. Mahadevappa said Union Minister for Surface Transport Oscar Fernandes would help in developing national and State highways of 25,265 km, besides upgradation of some of the State highways into national highways in the days to come.

When asked about the plans to improve roads in the State, he said Rs.10,000 crore was required to develop 75,000 km of road in Karnataka. The department had to disburse bills worth Rs.1,000 crore, which has been pending for the last two years, he said.

Policy

On the delay in forming a sand mining policy, Dr. Mahadevappa said it would be in place in the next three months. “Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has directed the deputy commissioners to act against illegal sand mining,” he said.

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