Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 10:
Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari today said that there are no toll gates operating illegally in Odisha.
Speaking to reporters at the state headquarters of BJP on the occasion of Vikas Utsav today, Gadkari stuck to the line echoed by Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi earlier on the issue.
“The Chief Secretary of the state has already made it clear that there are no illegal toll gates operating in the state. I donot want to add to that. We are planning investments worth Rs 15 lakh crore in the highway sector. Toll fees are essential to recover the cost. Like any other country, these highways need to be funded by the public. If you want good services, you have to pay for it,” said Gadkari.
He also pointed out that even though the representatives of the state bus owner’s association met him and discussed the toll fee waiver issue, he made it clear that a special rule cannot be made for the state.
“The bus owners of Odisha met me and took up the toll fee issue. They sought a waiver as the toll fee affects the passengers. However, I have made it clear that a new set of rules cannot be framed specifically for Odisha. So far as policy changes are concerned – that affect bus owners across the country and we need approvals from the Finance Minister and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for this,” he added.