Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 4:
The Odisha government today decided to shelve the decision to collect the hiked toll fee for a month after a meeting with top officials of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) here.
In a meeting presided over by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and attended by top officials of NHAI, the issue of illegal toll gates was taken up.
According to sources, the state government would send a report to Center on toll gate relocation within 10 days following which it would take a call on the implementation of revised toll fee.
“Apart from toll plaza issue, progress of 12 projects in the state was discussed,” NHAI Chairman Raghav Chandra said.
Notably, it was alleged that five of the eight toll plazas set up along different routes of National Highways passing through the state were illegal.
“The state government would submit a report on toll gates to the Centre within a month,” said Chief Secretary AP Padhi after a meeting with NHAI Chairman Raghav Chandra here today.
It may be recalled that the state Commerce and Transport department had issued a notification on May 18 stating that passengers travelling for more than 40 km at a stretch will have to share the toll fee apart from the bus fare. As per the notification, two-third of the fee was to be borne by the passengers and the rest by the bus operator.
“Revised toll fee won’t be effected for the time being. The notification in this regard will be kept in abeyance,” said state Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi.
Construction of road of 2000 km of national highway under the 12 projects would be expedited of which 620 km have already been completed. Forest land conversion, land acquisition, wildlife clearance and other issues were discussed in the meeting, sources added.