Revoke toll tax hike on heavy vehicles, Transporters urge state government

Updated: 21 November, 2020 07:45 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar, Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Transporters in state call decision 'ill-advised, unjustifiable, preposterous', especially at a time when heavy vehicle operators are under financial strain

Toll plaza on the Mumbai-Pune expressway
Toll plaza on the Mumbai-Pune expressway

Transporters in Maharashtra expressed resentment on Friday and protested against the state government's decision of imposing a hike of 10 per cent for heavy vehicles on toll tax, calling it "ill-advised and preposterous".

"The road transport fraternity of Maharashtra strongly protests cabinet decision to hike toll by 10 per cent for heavy commercial vehicles on the state highways. It is sad that this is being done to compensate for the waiver given to light vehicles," Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of core committee and former president of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) told mid-day.

"During the tough times, the decision is misplaced and unwarranted. The commercial vehicle operators are already suffering due to sliding business, rising operating costs and dwindling freights. They are under severe financial strain and the decision does not augur well for their sustenance. The government provided relief to the light vehicles considering their plight, but heavy vehicle operators suffered too. Hence, they should not be burdened. This decision is ill-advised, unjustifiable and preposterous and must be revoked in the interest of poor transport operators," he added.

The state cabinet on Thursday decided to continue the toll waiver for small vehicles, school buses and state transport buses, but hiked it for commercial vehicles. There are 53 state highways, including 27 under the jurisdiction of Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) and 26 under the purview of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The revision in toll rates will now be applicable on 15 of the 27 PWD highways.

PWD officials said the government was paying about Rs 350-400 crore to compensate for the waiver, but it aims to save some money with the hike. Officials said the hike was lower than what National Highway Authority of India has levied on its roads.

AIMTC members, however, remained unconvinced. Singh said they have already raised their grievances in a letter to the government and will take up the matter with them soon.

10%
Hike in toll on heavy vehicles on state highways

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First Published: 21 November, 2020 07:30 IST

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