Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 31:
In a major relief for commuters, the Odisha government this evening announced to put on hold collection of toll at the earlier announced increased rates from tomorrow.
“The new toll rates will not be put into effect from tomorrow. A final decision on implementation of new toll rates will be taken after discussions with a delegation of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that will be visiting the state on June 4,” informed Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi participating in a debate on Kanak News, a local television news channel.
“We had never said that we are going for a strike. We had only said that our buses won’t ply through those toll plazas if the government implements new toll rates as per the notification issued on May 18. If they are not going to implement new rates from tomorrow we will operate our buses,” said Prakash Mishra president of Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association in his reaction to the Minister’s statement.
Protesting against the decision to hike toll collected at toll plazas, private bus operators had threatened to stop plying of buses passing through all eight toll gates in the state set up by the NHAI from tomorrow.
Currently, around 6,000 private buses pay a monthly charge of Rs 1, 000 each at each toll gate on the national highway.
The Association had recently submitted a memorandum to the state government demanding withdrawal of the hiked toll rate