The government on Thursday further extended the suspension of toll collection on national highways till December 2 midnight. This is the third time the government has extended the suspension timeline. Besides, scrapped Rs 500 notes will be accepted at toll plazas on national highways from December 2 mid-night to December 15. The government had first announced the toll suspension news early in November as a major relief to commuters after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes were rendered defunct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“For smooth traffic movement across all National Highways, toll collection has now been suspended till mid-night of November 24,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said. Instructions had been issued to all concessionaires including BOT, OMT operators and other fee collection agencies about the extension of toll suspension date last week when Gadkari had made the announcement last week.
The government had earlier said that the decision has been taken in order to avoid difficulties that may be faced by commuters. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to tackle corruption and black money, the government had decided to accept such withdrawn notes at toll plazas till November 11 midnight but that led to chaos in the absence of adequate change, causing massive traffic jams. “We reviewed the situation and decided to suspend the collection of fees,” the minister had said. When asked about the loss due to non-collection of toll fee, Gadkari has said government will bear it.