Eventhough the government had allowed traffic movement through toll plazas of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) from April 20 onwards, the frequency of vehicles at Kurali, Patiala, Dappar and the Chandimandir toll plazas remained lean at 25-30 per cent .
NHAI officials, however, predict that vehicle frequency and collection at toll plazas will increase after May 17.
The NHAI had suspended toll collection on all national highways after the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24.
“After the announcement of the lockdown and the following suspension of collection of toll tax, the vehicle frequency went down to nil, and so did the collection at the toll,” said an official, NHAI, Punjab.
Since the relaxation of the lockdown, vehicle movement has gradually increased. It is set to further increase after May 17, added the official.
The NHAI official said that while collection at the four tolls including Badbar (Patiala-Sangrur-Barnala-Bathinda), Dappar (Zirakpur-Ambala), Kurali (Kurali-Kiratpur) and Banur (Zirakpur – Rajpura) was around Rs 15 lakh per day prior to the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, it is now just Rs 4-5 lakh per day.
“While earlier there was nearly movement of 40,000 vehicles daily, at present only 10,000 vehicles are moving in a day,” added the official.
At toll plazas in Noida, Maharashtra, and other major cities, the vehicle frequency has touched 60 per cent again. However, at the Punjab region toll plazas the number will grow gradually.
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