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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced that the temporary suspension of toll fees collections has now been lifted. Minister Nitin Gadhari has announced a suspension in collections last month, in light of the lock down that followed the Covid-19 outbreak.
A statement by the Ministry read. "In view of the relaxations provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the Interstate and Intrastate movement of all trucks and other goods and carrier vehicles, the NHAI should take actions necessary for compliance of the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs and tolling operations be resumed on 20th of April 2020."
While there was a temporary suspension of toll charges across the country, the availability of emergency services and other resources to maintain National Highways has continued, irrespective of the lock down that was announced.
The earlier decision to suspend toll collections was originally slated to be in effect until the end of the lock down period in order to reduce inconvenience and save time for movement of emergency and essential services.
In related news, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has created a dedicated page on its website that offers essential information to truck drivers plying highways while ferrying essential, medical equipment, and non-essential goods.
The dedicated page offers truckers in the country with information about Dhabas and truck repair workshops along multiple routes. Dhabas and repair shops are crucial for transport services engaged in ferrying goods across the country.
This move is aimed at helping drivers and cleaners as they travel the network of highways across the country. The National Highways Authority of India has also set up a centralised contact number (1033) to help truckers find Dhabas and repair shops along their routes.
Thoughts About The Ministry Of Road Transport And Highways Resuming Collection Of Toll Fees
One would expect the Ministry to keep the temporary suspension of toll fee collections in effect until 3 May, however, there is a need to kick start the economy before it is too late. What we really like is that the Ministry has a dedicated page on its website that helps truckers across the country find food and repair shops along the way. It rather shameful that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways waited for something as life-threatening as Covid-19 to happen before taking this step. Slow clap.