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Govt plans to curb ‘exempt category’ vehicles' misuse at toll plazas

Govt plans to curb ‘exempt category’ vehicles' misuse at toll plazas

Snapshot: The “zero transaction tag” for the exempted category will be specified by the government.

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For all those who have been enjoying easy exit at the toll plazas, things are not going to be same as the government is planning to restrict the benefit to only those vehicles which will have RFID smart tags. This is being done to prevent people from misusing the provision that is confined to the “exempted category”. The decision was taken at the recent infrastructure rev iew meeting chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The suggestion was immediately commissioned by the PM and he also directed to take further steps to control the menace. Misusing of this provision also leads to heavy revenue loss that has been reported at previous occasions by the highway operators.

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Sources in the know opine, this pilot project will also help government determine the number of trips that fail to generate revenues. The “zero transaction tag” for the exempted category will be specified by the government and it is likely to restrict the benefit to a small group only, excluding a large number of official vehicles. In the current scenario, each MP can get two “zero transaction tags” after getting request letter for their vehicles.

Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari clarified in Rajya Sabha that just one tag is issued for Delhi, whereas another can be used in their respective constituency. It is to be noted that vehicles accompanying the authorized ones will not get exemption. Currently, the government hasn’t decided on the date to implement the new reform, though it will soon announce the date.

As per NHAI toll free rules, vehicles that are exempted from paying toll include vehicles transporting and officially accompanying the President, PM, chief justices of Supreme Court and high courts, chief ministers, Union ministers, judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, MPs and defence chiefs.  The exempted category also includes official vehicles being used by defence and parliamentary forces, police and executive magistrates. Also, ambulances and funeral vehicles are allowed to go free.

The NHAI has been summoned to equip each and every toll plaza with the electronic toll collection (ETC) across lanes within next four months. Additionally, it has been asked to get a central monitoring system to fetch live updates of congestions at the toll plazas that can be accessed by top officials on their computers in a bid to take requisite action immediately.

 

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