The government on Wednesday (1 December) informed that around 60 to 65 National Highway toll plazas in Punjab, Haryanna and Rajasthan were affected due to Farmer Agitation, resulting in revenue loss of over Rs 2,732 crore.
"Farmers protest started affecting toll collection from October, 2020. Initially, the toll plazas in the State of Punjab were made non-operational by agitating farmers in October, 2020. It eventually spread to neighbouring States of entire Haryana and parts of Rajasthan," Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
Of the total revenue loss in toll collection, toll plazas in Punjab incurred a loss of Rs 1269.42 while those in Haryana and Rajasthan lost Rs 1319.61 crore and Rs 142.29 in revenues, respectively.
Gadkari said that the Road Transport Ministry and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have made continuous efforts to operationalise the affected toll plazas through active communication with state administration and help of toll collecting agency etc.
"State Governments of Punjab and Haryana had assured to render full cooperation for resumption of toll collection at the affected toll plaza in their respective states. However, toll operation could not be started," the minister said.
Further, NHAI invited bids for 14 non-operational fee plazas in Rajasthan based on assurance from local administration and two plazas were awarded on 3 September and 7 September, said Gadkari.
However, these plazas also could not be operated due to farmers’ protest, the minister added.
"In case the protest is called off by protesting farmer’s without prior information, NHAI, as an exigency plan, has directed its Regional Offices to mobilise skilled or semi-skilled manpower instantly and operationalise the fee plazas till agency is appointed to avoid any revenue loss," said Gadkari.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.